A public viewing is scheduled Friday for U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez of Indio, one of 13 service members killed in last month’s bombing in Afghanistan.
A procession beginning at 9 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Community in La Quinta is set to pass the three schools Lopez attended — Amelia Earhart Elementary School and John Glenn Middle School, both in Indio, and La Quinta High School.
The procession will then loop back to St. Francis of Assisi, where there will be a public viewing from noon to 7 p.m.
Sheriff’s officials advised people planning to attend the procession to stay on the sidewalks and out of streets for safety.
The three-day remembrance for Lopez will conclude Saturday. A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center.
The center’s Oasis Room will be open to the public to watch the service on video screens to comply with COVID regulations.
A total of 1,000 members of the public will be permitted to attend, and masks will be required.
The service will be streamed on the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department YouTube and Facebook pages.
At the service’s conclusion, a procession will go from the convention center to Riverside National Cemetery where Lopez will be buried.
The three-day remembrance began Thursday with dozens of people along with police cars and fire engines flashing their lights waiting at the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station to pay their respects to Lopez.
The procession began at 5:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn in Cathedral City, passed the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station and ended at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Community in La Quinta.
American flags were placed along the route.
“We’re lucky enough to be here because of a lot of young men like that,” Lloyd Chaisson told The Desert Sun while waiting on the route. He told the newspaper he came to pay his respects as a Vietnam veteran because he had a lot of friends who never made it home.
Lopez and 12 other service members died Aug. 26 in a suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. He was 22.
Lopez was the son of Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff’s Capt. Herman Lopez. According to the Riverside Sheriff’s Association, Hunter Lopez was a Riverside County sheriff’s Explorer Scout with the Palm Desert Station from September 2014 to August 2017, and planned to become a sheriff’s deputy upon his return from Afghanistan.
“Hunter was devoted to serving others and perfecting himself in order to be the best Explorer and Marine possible. Whether at work or at home, Hunter strived for perfection, seeking knowledge and experience from those he respected and admired,” the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. “When on leave, Hunter enjoyed being around family and friends and sharing his experiences with everyone.
“He lived life to the fullest and was often the reason why family and friends would bend over backwards to get together when he was around.”
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