Thousands of Hoosiers turned out Sunday to pay their respects as a procession carried the body of a U.S. Marine, killed in Afghanistan, through Miami County and back to his hometown of Logansport.
Onlookers lined both sides of State Road 218 from Grissom Air Reserve Base to the Cass County line and beyond as the hearse carrying Marine Cpl. Humberto Sanchez made its way to a funeral home in preparation for the Tuesday funeral.
“This reminds me of the sacrifice any of us could be called upon to make,” Senior Master Sgt. Zach Chapin, 434th Air Refueling Wing superintendent of inspections at Grissom, said in a Sunday news release from the base.
That morning the base had entered quiet hours as the body of the Marine was flown on to the base for what the military calls a “dignified transfer” of Sanchez’s casket from the plane to the waiting hearse.
A procession led by Indiana State Police then made its way from the base to Logansport.
“It’s a somber experience,” Tech. Sgt. Josh Weaver, of Grissom public affairs said in the release. “We wanted to put the family first, and pay our respects to the sacrifice that Corporal Sanchez made.”
Onlookers remained quiet, many of them holding American flags, along the highway as the hearse passed into Cass County just after 11 a.m.
Jets flew overhead as the procession approached downtown Logansport where the hearse carrying Sanchez’s body stopped briefly under a garrison flag.
The procession included vehicles carrying Sanchez’s family, followed by thousands of motorcycles.
Sanchez, 22, was among 13 U.S. military members killed in the suicide bombing at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport in late August.
Eleven Marines, one Navy sailor and one Army soldier were among the dead, while 18 other U.S. service members were wounded in the bombing, which also claimed the lives of more than 160 Afghans. Officials have blamed the bombing on Afghanistan’s offshoot of the Islamic State group.
The U.S. military said it was the most lethal day for American forces in Afghanistan since 2011.
Sanchez’s funeral was planned for Tuesday at LifeGate Church in Logansport with the burial to follow at Mount Hope Cemetery.