Dozens of Indian Americans, led by Abhishek Singh, President of FIA’s New England Chapter, and other community leaders like Subbu Kota, Raj Gupta, Brij Sharma, and ex-member of Rhode Island House of Representatives Robert Lancia, paid tributes to the 11 US Marines, an army soldier, and a Navy medic killed in Kabul in the August 26 suicide bomb attack, by organizing a candlelight vigil at the City Hall of Marlborough, Massachusetts, in the evening of August 30.

Johanny Rosaria, 25, a Marine sergeant from Lawrence, Massachusetts, was among the 13 US services members killed in the attack. The others included Lance Cpl. David Lee Espinoza, Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, Marine Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Marine Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Sailor. Maxton Soviak, and Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola.

The photos of the 11 Marines, an Army soldier, and a Navy medic killed in the attack were placed amid US and Indian flags at the vigil. The dignitaries and other participants lit a candle and paid homage to the US service members for their supreme sacrifice. “These 13 brave service members put themselves in danger to protect American values and American and Afghan people. We are all heartbroken about their death. They are gone but they will never be forgotten,” Singh said. Robert Lancia, who served as chaplain in the US Navy from 1987 to 2004, recited a prayer for the departed souls.

“The lives we lost were lives given in the service of America. They are true warriors and sacrificed their lives for the American people,” he said. Subbu Kota said their courage and selflessness represent the highest ideals of America. “On behalf of the Indian American community here and elsewhere, we pay heartfelt tributes to the US troops for their sacrifice,” he said. Brij Bhushan Garg paid tributes to the fallen soldiers and asked the audience to join him in chanting the Gayatri Mantra and to pray for peace. Rakesh led the audience in observing a moment of silence for the departed souls, while Mukta thanked the Indian American community for taking part in the candlelight vigil.

The US personnel were among nearly 200 persons killed in deadly blasts, claimed by ISIS-K, in Kabul in Afghanistan last week. The blasts happened amid evacuation exercises by the US troops in the war-torn country.

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