Covina Memorial Service for Marines Killed in Afghanistan – NBC Los Angeles

A public memorial service for Marine Lance Cpl is being held today at Forest Lawn Covina Hills. Dylan R. Merola, who was among the 13 soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Merola’s remains were carried in procession from Ontario International Airport and through the streets of his hometown of Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday – including a passport from his alma mater Los Osos High School – and eventually arrived at Forest Lawn to prepare for Sunday services .

Thousands of people lined the sidewalks and freeway flyovers along the processional route, many holding American flags.

“It’s a sad day,” Upland’s Mark Bertone told NBC4. “I have a son who has lived eight years of his life in and outside of Afghanistan. Part of me feels blessed that I still have him with me. “

Merola, 20, died on August 26 in the attack on Kabul airport, which also killed 10 other Marines, a US Navy medic and a US Army soldier, and more than 100 Afghans.

Two more Southland Marines – Lance Cpl. Kareem Grant Nikoui, 20, of Norco, and Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, also died in the attack.

“You have these young children – 19, 20, 21 years old, they come to work to help over a hundred thousand people escape the Taliban tyranny, and they are gone,” Bertone said.

The public memorial service for Merola will be held on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Mausoleum, 21300 Via Verde St., followed by a private memorial service.

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