The body of a U.S. Marine killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan has returned home to Massachusetts on the 20th anniversary of the attacks that led to the war.
Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, was among the U.S. service members and Afghans killed in the Aug. 26 bombing near the Kabul airport.
Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Kim Janey and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey paid their respects to her family as the body arrived Saturday at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Then in her hometown of Lawrence, people lined the streets and waved flags at the vehicle procession of police, firefighters and others that accompanied her casket. A Marine honor guard carried the flag-draped casket into a funeral home.
STONEHAM, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. Marine Ssgt. Alice Ward stands at attention on the side of I-93 North as the hearse carrying fallen Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo passes on September 11, 2021 in Stoneham, Massachusetts. Rosario Pichardo was o
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"She’s coming home on the date, the 20th anniversary of the date, that created the war that cost her life," Francisco Urena, former state veterans commissioner, told The Boston Globe.
Rosario died in the Aug. 26 bombing at the Kabul airport, where people were being evacuated amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. A dozen other U.S. service members and 169 Afghans were killed.
She and the other 12 service members who died during the attack have been awarded Purple Hearts.
Dozens attended a separate vigil in Rosario’s memory last weekend in Boston that was hosted by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, an organization founded by veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Rosario, who was of Dominican origin, served with the Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
A private funeral Mass will be held Monday. A public wake is planned for Tuesday at a stadium in Lawrence, with burial at Bellevue Cemetery.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.