JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The community around Camp Lejeune is coping with the first day after learning seven of those service members were part of the MARSOC family.
People are offering their condolences by placing flowers, crosses and wreaths at the entrance to the base as well as at the memorial gardens.
Across the city, memorials are going up in honor of those service members who lives were lost in the fatal crash.
For many retired service members, Monday’s tragedy puts things in perspective.
Retired Gunnery Sgt. Brian Vinciguerra stood in front of the globe and anchor at the memorial gardens Wednesday, reflecting on how it could have easily been him.
“When we say goodbye to our love ones, it may be the last time,” Vinciguerra said.
Flags are at half-staff across the community, which hasn’t felt a tragedy like this one since the 1983 Beirut bombing.
Many of the Marines who died that day were stationed here at Camp Johnson.
Retired Sgt. Maj. Joe Houle personally lowered the flags to half-staff at the memorial gardens this afternoon.
“It’s even more of a bond than blood bond,” said Houle. “Because the life depends on you and the person next to you. People don’t understand that really. That’s a bond that can never be broken.”
More memorials are expected in the days to come.
On Friday, the Civic Affairs Committee is holding an observance at noon in front of the Freedom Fountain in honor of those whose lives were lost