Remembrance Service in Norco Honors Kareem Nikoui and the `Fallen 13′
NORCO (CNS) – A remembrance service was held in Norco Saturday honoring the 11 U.S. Marines and two other U.S. Armed Forces members killed in the suicide bombing that occurred during the chaotic evacuation of American military personnel and civilians from Afghanistan two years ago.
One of the remembrance service attendees was Shana Chappell of Norco, who lost her son, 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, in the Aug. 26, 2021, bombing by an Islamic State terrorist at the Abbey Gate fronting Kabul Airport.
Along with the Marines, a U.S. Navy corpsman and a U.S. Army soldier were killed, while nearly 100 civilians were killed or injured in the blast.
Chappell, who was sharply critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan, lost another son, 28-year-old Dakota Halverson, to suicide last August at Pikes Peak Park, near his fallen brother’s memorial.
Chappell said Halverson had been overwhelmed with grief, to the point he was sleeping nights adjacent to Nikoui’s grave.
Nikoui was one of two Riverside County natives killed in the bombing. The other was 22-year-old Marine Cpl. Hunter Lopez of Indio.
The memorial features a plaque saluting Nikoui as “Our Home Town Hero.”
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