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Hundreds confirmed up for a memorial hike in southern California Sunday to pay tribute to Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, one of the 13 service members who died in a suicide bomb assault final week at Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul as refugees have been nonetheless being evacuated. 

Nikoui, a U.S. Marine who graduated from Norco High School in 2019, had deliberate to go on a hike with a fellow former JROTC cadet at Pumpkin Rock Trail after his return abroad. Ashley Lopez, who was his drill teacher in highschool, described how the pair deliberate their reunion over social media, as Nikoui had just lately despatched her a photograph over Snap Chat of him smiling alongside an Afghan little one. 

Lopez, who helped manage the memorial hike Sunday, instructed Pasadena Star-News she needs she had taken a screenshot of the photograph, because it was the final time she noticed Nikoui alive earlier than the Aug. 26 assault. 

2 CALIFORNIA FAMILIES POTENTIALLY STILL STRANDED IN AFGHANISTAN, 6 OTHERS EVACUATED 

“We were messaging each other, messing around talking about the good ol’ times with one of my old cadets,” Lopez stated Sunday. “The last picture I saw of him was there on Snapchat — and I obviously didn’t know this was going to happen — but I wish I would have screenshot that picture.” 

Kareem Nikoui, a young U.S. Marine, poses with his rifle. Nikoui was killed in suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 8/26/21

Kareem Nikoui, a younger U.S. Marine, poses together with his rifle. Nikoui was killed in suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 8/26/21
(Kareem Nikoui/Instagram)

Norco Mayor Kevin Bash described to lots of of mourners gathered at Pumpkin Rock, a Jack-o-lantern-painted vacationer attraction overlooking the Inland Empire, how Nikoui had rushed again contained in the Kabul’s airport to get extra kids to security when the bomb went off outdoors Abbey Gate. 

“You weren’t going to stop him from trying to go back and rescue some more people. But he went out doing what he loved to do — and that’s saving people,” Staff Sgt. David Spratley, who was Nikoui’s mentor, instructed Star-News on the memorial hike. “Heaven is getting a good warrior.”

The City of Norco Facebook web page shared a video reveals lots of of individuals waving American flags at Pumpkin Rock who had ascended the height by foot, automobile, bike and even some on horseback. The crowd solemnly listened to a rendition of “Taps” performed by trumpet. 

A photograph additionally confirmed Nikoui’s half-sisters, Ashley and Karena Sylvester, holding a banner on the rock with the fallen soldier’s photograph that learn: “Gone Too Soon. A Norco Hero Kareem Nikoui. Semper Fi.” 

“There was a line of traffic coming in this morning, and I cried,” Lopez stated. “I was like: Wow! The city of Norco really came to show their love for Kareem.”

The hike adopted a $5 pancake breakfast at America Legion Post 328 in Norco to boost cash for Nikoui’s household, KNBC reported. 13 glasses of beer have been positioned on a desk with 13 empty chairs in the nook of the room. 

 “Kareem was just always involved in something, whether it was helping out with the Pearl Harbor event or POW event down at the monument,” Spratley stated, describing the now fallen soldier’s highschool days. “He was a kid who was always full of laughter and fun and just had a lot of heart.”

Nikoui’s title can be enshrined on the “Lest We Forget Wall” on the George A. Ingalls Veterans Memorial Plaza, which honors Norconians who made the last word sacrifice, the town stated. A Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is at present being constructed on the similar location.

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Nikoui beforehand attended Holly Avenue Elementary School in Arcadia and First Avenue Middle School earlier than he accomplished highschool in Norco. Norco High School Junior ROTC, the Corona-Norco Unified School District and the City of Norco organized the memorial hike on Sunday. 

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(THIS STORY HAS NOT BEEN EDITED BY INDIA07 TEAM AND IS AUTO-GENERATED FROM A SYNDICATED FEED.)

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