Candlelight Vigil for US Service members killed

Candle vigil

Geetha Patil

NEW YORK: Indian American Community Organized Candlelight Vigil for US Service members killed in Kabul terrorist attackon the evening of 30 August 2021 The vigil was at the City Hall of Marlborough, MA  with over fifty people along with President Abhishek Singh, and other community leaders

Among attendees inlude3d  Subbu Kota, Raj Gupta, Brij Sharma,and Robert Lancia who was a member of the Representatives paid tribute to the Americans who died in the attacks in Afghanistan.

Program started with the painful introduction of the event by Abhishek Singh. He said that 13 troops killed when a suicide bomb ripped through the crowds last week, killing nearly 200 people. These brave solders put themselves in danger for the protection of American values and American people. Everyone is “heartbroken” about the death of these solders. “They are gone but they will never be forgotten” said with much pain in his voice.

The photos of the 11 Marines, as well as an Army soldier and a Navy medic were placed with flowers and candles amid US and Indian flags. Those killed 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 Sgt. Johanny Rosario, Marine Corps corporal. Humberto Sanchez, Marine Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page, Lance Cpl.  Jared Schmitz, Sailor. Maxton Soviak, and Marine Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola. Everyone went to the stage one by one and lighted a candle and paid his/her homage for their selfless mission to save the lives of others.

Robert Lancia who also served as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy from 1987 to 2004 read the Navy Prayer and explained its source and motivational meaning to the audiences. He recited a formal prayer for the departed souls to have an eternal rest and peace.  He also read some famous quotes that promote the desire or willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the protection of others.Furthermore, he said that we keep with special appreciation the memory of these solders, their lives, and their sacrifices.“The lives we lost today were lives given in the service of America. They’re true warriors and sacrificed their lives for the American people” said with much energy.

Subbu Kota said that these are awful sacrifices for the families. Their courage and selflessness represent the highest ideals of America. On behalf of Indian community, “We pay revered tribute to their sacrifice.”

Brij Sharma stated that these are tough times and lots of unrest is going on in the world. It’s important for all of us to pay homage and pray for the peace. He asked all the audiences to join him in chanting the universal Gayatri Mantra that stimulates and facilitates insightfulness and awakening to the Truth within all.

Rakesh requested all the audiences to observe a moment of silence to respect these solders. He said that these warriors who died gave their lives to save thousands of men, women and children, Americans, and Afghans alike. Mukta thanked everyone for coming to the event, showing their support, and paying tribute the warriors.

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