LAWRENCE, Massachusetts — One of the U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, was a Marine from Massachusetts, officials said Saturday.
The family of Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo was notified Friday evening, Jaime Melendez said. Melendez is the director of veterans services in Lawrence, where Rosario attended high school.
“We will not allow her to be forgotten,” Melendez said.
A memorial for Rosario was planned Saturday afternoon in Boston by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, an organization founded by veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The suicide bombing at the airport where people were being evacuated amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, including 11 Marines, a Navy corpsman and a U.S. Army soldier.
The Dominican Republic’s embassy in the United States tweeted that Rosario was originally from that Caribbean nation.
Sonia Guzman, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted that the Dominican community shares in the loss.
“Peace to your soul!” she tweeted in Spanish.
Rosario served with the Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which praised her efforts as supply chief this spring and thanked her for a job well done.
In Lawrence, Massachusetts, Mayor Kendrys Vasquez said he has been in contact with the family.
“We are heartbroken by the death of the servicemen and women due to the bombing in Kabul this week,” he said. “I and the city of Lawrence are particularly saddened that one of those brave souls was a daughter of our city.”
The family wishes for privacy “and that their loved one be recognized as the hero that she was,” the mayor said.
Melendez said people have strong feelings about the U.S. involvement that’s coming to an end after two decades in Afghanistan.
“There are people on both sides of the fence. I get it,” he said. “This is about one of our own, a daughter of Lawrence. For us it is definitely about her service and her family’s sacrifice. That’s what will be focusing on.”
Lawrence is about 30 miles north of Boston, not far from the New Hampshire state line.