Memorial events are being planned this week to honor three Southern California Marines, including two from Riverside County, who were among 13 service members killied in a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, the city of Murrieta will honor all 13 service members who lost their lives in the Thursday bombing, including Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, Lance Cpl. Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Nikoui, 20, of Norco, and Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga.
All three were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.
The “Remembrance Ceremony Honoring Fallen Service Members” is set for 6 p.m. at the Town Square Park Amphitheater, 24670 Adams Ave., and will be a “tribute to those who lost their lives and the families impacted by this tragedy” city officials said on Twitter.
Other tributes to the soldiers and online fundraisers for the families are being planned.
City officials in Indio are hoping to honor Lopez — the son of Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff’s Capt. Herman Lopez — with a plaque on the Wall of Heroes and a soldier banner at Veterans Park, with the consent of his parents.
On Sunday morning, Nikoui was remembered during a “Memorial Hike to Pumpkin Rock” planned by the Norco High School Junior ROTC, the Corona-Norco Unified School District and the city of Norco. Nikoui graduated from Norco High School in 2019 and served in JROTC.
Merola, who was a graduate of Los Osos High School, was honored Friday during the school’s first football game of the season by students wearing red, white and blue.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of all the fallen soldiers.