Merrimack Valley Mourns Loss of U.S. Marine Corp Sgt. Johanny Rosario, Killed in Afghanistan

Marine Corp Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo in her “Gator of the Week” photograph in May. (Courtesy photograph.)

The Merrimack Valley and beyond is honoring and remembering a Lawrence Marine who was among 13 U.S. servicemembers killed Thursday by terrorists near Kabul Airport in Afghanistan.

Marine Corp Sgt. Johanny Rosario was 25 and attended Lawrence High School. She died in a blast that killed an estimated 175 people. President Joseph Biden ordered a retaliatory strike that reportedly killed two members of the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, known as ISIS-K. The group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Rosario, a member of the Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, had been honored in May as “Gator of the Week” for her day-to-day management of the administrative functions in the supply section including the procurement, issue, accountability and disposal of Task Force property.

Marine Corps Commandant, General David H. Berger, said on social media, “These fallen heroes answered the call to go into harm’s way to do the honorable work of helping others. We are proud of their service and deeply saddened by their loss.”

Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez noted the bombing in Kabul, and called out Rosario in particular, saying “I, and the City of Lawrence, are particularly saddened that one of those brave souls was a daughter of our city.”

Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque and his department offered condolences and adding, “She and the other American heroes gave their lives helping others to safety. May they and all the victims of this tragic event rest in peace.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren issued a statement, saying, “Sgt. Johanny Rosario is a hero. A daughter of Lawrence, her courage saved thousands of lives and her selfless service represents the best of our country.”

Congresswoman Lori Trahan said, “Rosario represented the very best our country has to offer. She made the ultimate sacrifice for our country protecting vulnerable Americans and Afghans trying to get to safety — a selfless and honorable mission.”

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