The remains of a Massachusetts native Marine sergeant killed in Afghanistan will return to Lawrence on 9/11.
A procession for Sgt. Johanny Rosario, one of 13 U.S. service members killed last month in a suicide bombing outside Kabul's airport, will begin at noon Saturday in her hometown, family spokesperson Francisco Urena told Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra.
Rosario will be honored at an event where the public will be able to pay respects next Tuesday.
Last week, Rosario was remembered at a vigil at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Gov. Charlie Baker, Rep. Lori Trahan and Mayor Kendrys Vasquez spoke to a crowd that repeatedly cheered the Marine's name.
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With song and prayer, candles and gratitude for service and sacrifice, hundreds turned out to thank the hometown hero and her family for all she meant to the city and the country.
Baker said he was proud of and inspired by the person she became: "a proud Dominican American, a daughter, sister, girlfriend and auntie. A student and a teacher. A caretaker. A United States Marine."
“Her mission was an honorable one,” Trahan said. "Working around the clock to get Americans and our allies to safety.
Citing a letter written about her and conversations with her loved ones, the governor said Rosario "ran slower than a tortoise through peanut butter…but she never ran away from her problems, she attacked them head-on."
He said she is believed to have been on a team screening women and children at a gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport, and "helped over 30,000 people reach safety before she was killed by a suicide bomber."
American flags were arrayed around the stadium, and Vasquez had asked attendees to wear black ribbons.
“I came out to support one of my fallen sisters,” said Kristopher Hernandez, who served in the Marines. “She gave her life serving the country, serving the people that left Afghanistan.”
“We’re going to miss her a lot,” said Felix Alvarado, a neighbor and family friend who knew Johanny as a child.
Rosario, who was of Dominican origin, served with the Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.