UPDATED 1:47 PM PT – Sunday, September 12, 2021
The remains of a U.S. Marine who died in the bombing of the Kabul airport were returned home on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The body of 25-year-old Johanny Rosario Pichardo returned to her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts on Saturday.
Dozens of first responders, former and active service members, and Lawrence residents lined the streets to honor the fallen Marine as the procession leading the hearse her casket was in drove by before it arrived at the designated funeral home.
U.S. Navy veteran Leigh Poitevent expressed, “to show our children the importance of this day 9/11 and to show them importance of serving their country and honoring those that have lost their lives.”
City welcomes home town hero USMC Sgt Johanny Rosario Pichardo. pic.twitter.com/OjI6AWxWci
— Lawrence, Massachusetts Police (@lawrencepolice) September 11, 2021
Rosario has been one of the last of the 13 American service members killed in the attack to be returned to the U.S. in a bombing, which also took the lives of 169 Afghans.
“She volunteered to serve our country and volunteered to be in that mission as a female Marine doing the screenings,” stated family spokesman Francesco Urena. “It has been accounted that she personally assisted in the evacuation of 10,300 women and children that specifically came before her and her Marines.”
The 25-year-old was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart earlier on in the week. She enlisted in 2014 after graduating high school and is survived by her mother and younger sister.
A public wake is set to take place on Tuesday before she is laid to rest later in the day.