In a piercing breeze, beneath a rippling flag, the faithful of Hawthorne gathered in remembrance of the seven Marines who died in a training accident March 18, 2013. Truly, Hawthorne lives up to its name as “America’s Patriotic Home.”
During the brief ceremony the man of God offered words of faith and comfort, others offered words of thanks to the men who died in service to their country. Others offered words of strength to those still suffering from the loss.
But nothing rendered so succinctly the tragedy of the loss of the departed as the single lonely tolling of a bell after the reading of each name:
Pvt. First Class Joseph Martino
Lance Cpl. David Fenn II
Lance Cpl. Roger W. Muchnick Jr.
Lance Cpl. Joshua Taylor
Lance Cpl. Mason Vanderwork
Lance Cpl. William Wild
Cpl. Aaron Ripperda
“The tumult and the shouting dies—
The Captains and the Kings depart—
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!”
We shall remember.
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Ryan P. West and his wife, Keavy, paid a visit to Hawthorne earlier this month. The purpose of the visit was to thank first responders who helped save Ryan West’s life after he was severely wounded in the training accident that killed seven Marines and wounded eight.
The Mineral County Fire Department hosted a barbecue and gathering celebrating West’s return at the fire house. A crowd of first responders, many who attended to West personally, found time to attend including the Care Flight helicopter and crew that flew West to a Reno hospital after his injury.
Part of the gathering included a short ceremony that started with a brief prayer by Larry Jackson. Several people spoke, including West, and he received a framed drawing of a soldier and fireman. Afterward, West and his wife mingled with guests and posed for photos.
As West and his wife departed for Reno, he said, “We really wanted to drop by and say thanks to all those people who helped us. We really wanted to see everybody again.”