Palm Springs, CA

Memorial planned for fallen Coachella Valley Marine Saturday in Palm Springs

The Palm Springs Post
Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, was among 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan in August.Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

A U.S. Marine from Indio who was one of the service members killed in last month's bombing in Afghanistan will be memorialized in Palm Springs Saturday.

Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, was one of three Southern California Marines, including two from Riverside County, who were among 13 service members killed in a suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26.

Saturday’s memorial begins at 11 AM at the Palm Springs Convention Center, located at 277 N. Avenida Caballeros. It concludes a three-day long remembrance by The Riverside County Sheriff's Department for the fallen Marine who was the son of Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Alicia Lopez and sheriff's Capt. Herman Lopez.

“Hunter was devoted to serving others and perfecting himself in order to be the best Explorer and Marine possible,” the Sheriff's Department said in a news release Thursday. “Whether at work or at home, Hunter strived for perfection, seeking knowledge and experience from those he respected and admired.

“He lived life to the fullest and was often the reason why family and friends would bend over backwards to get together when he was around.”

In order to comply with COVID restrictions, Sheriff's officials said the Oasis Room in the convention center will be open to the public to watch the ceremony via media screens. The service will also be live streamed via the Riverside County Sheriff's Department's YouTube and Facebook pages. A total of 1,000 members of the public will be permitted to attend, and masks will be required.

Lopez’s body was flown back to the Coachella Valley on Thursday. A procession followed, eventually passing the Palm Desert Sheriff's Station on Gerald Ford Drive and ending at St. Francis of Assisi in La Quinta. A public viewing is planned for Friday, starting with a procession at 9 AM from St. Francis of Assisi past the three schools Lopez attended in the Coachella Valley: Amelia Earhart Elementary School and John Glenn Middle School in Indio, and La Quinta High School. The procession will then loop back to St. Francis of Assisi, where there will be a public viewing from Noon until 7 PM.

At the conclusion of Saturday’s service in Palm Springs service, a procession will travel to Riverside National Cemetery, where Lopez will be laid to rest.

Complete details and maps of all the processions are available here. Sheriff's officials advised members of the public who wish to attend the processions to stay on the sidewalks and out of roadways for safety.

Donations: The Lopez family suggested that donations in honor of Cpl. Lopez be made to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation. Information on how to donate to the family can be found here.

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