LAWRENCE, Mass. — Just after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, a military honor guard placed Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo’s flag-draped casket into a hearse to transport her from the funeral home to a public wake at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The stadium is next to Lawrence High School, where she graduated in 2014.
Thousands of mourners waited in a long line to honor the 25-year-old.
Some praying, some kneeling.
All paying their respect, including retired Marines and active duty Marines.
“Let me tell you something. As governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am so proud to be able to say that Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo was a child of the commonwealth. God bless her,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.
Sgt. Rosario Pichardo was among 13 U.S. service members killed last month during evacuation efforts at the Kabul Airport.
“There were two Afghan women being crushed. Sgt. Rosario turned to the captain and before she took off, her final words were ‘they need me, sir,’” said USMC Capt. Pascal Demeo, Sgt. Rosario Pichardo’s commanding officer.
Following the wake there was a procession to Bellevue Cemetery where a caisson carried Sgt. Rosario Pichardo to her final resting spot.
Sgt. Rosario Pichardo was laid to rest with full military honors in a section reserved for military veterans.
Although she could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Sgt. Rosario Pichardo’s family chose to bring her home to Lawrence.
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