Marine Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, 'a Massachusetts hero,' killed in Afghanistan airport attack
Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, killed in this week's suicide bombing near Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan, received praise and condolences in her home state of Massachusetts in the days after the deadly attack.
Gov. Charlie Baker called Rosario, 25, who attended high school in the northeastern Massachusetts city of Lawrence, "a Massachusetts hero gone too soon." She was one of 13 U.S. service members killed in Thursday's attack.
Rosario, who also used the surname Rosario, was assigned to the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, according to the U.S. Defense Department.
Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez issued a statement saying he was "heartbroken" at the loss of "a daughter of our city.” Her family asked for privacy "and that their loved one be recognized as the hero that she was,” he said.
Saturday, dozens of people attended a vigil in Rosario's memory in Boston that was hosted by Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, a group founded by veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. A wreath commemorated the loss of Rosario and the vigil also included 13 roses and candles to honor the service members killed in the bombing.
The two U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, praised Rosario and offered condolences to her family.
Her “courage saved thousands of lives and her selfless service represents the best of our country," Warren tweeted. "My heart aches for her loved ones.”
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Markey said the people of Massachusetts and the U.S. "always will remember her brave service to our country."
He tweeted: "There is no measure of thanks for Sgt. Rosariopichardo’s ultimate sacrifice, so we must honor her heroism in service to the United States and all of those we lost in this attack."
The Dominican Republic’s embassy in the United States tweeted condolences Friday to the family and friends of Rosario, saying she was of Dominican origin.
Sonia Guzmán, the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted the Dominican community shares in the family's pain. “Peace to your soul!” she wrote in Spanish.
Contributing: The Associated Press