Disneyland recently honored the memory of one of the Marines who was killed last year during the suicide bombing attack at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Dylan Ryan Merola was honored Monday during the California park’s daily Flag Retreat Ceremony in its Town Square, with his mother, sister, brother and grandmother in attendance, according to multiple reports.
“It meant so much to me today to honor my son. As he was growing up, we attended a lot of things at Disneyland. We had season passes since he was little,” said his mother, Cheryl Rex, KTLA reported. “It’s very meaningful here, it’s a special place to us.”
Marine Master Sgt. Patrick Hause presented Ms. Rex with the Navy Achievement Medal. Lance Cpl. Merola’s brother, Branden, had recently graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp.
Lance Cpl. Merola was one of the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Afghanistan when an Islamic State militant detonated an explosive belt at Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26, 2021. The attack also saw 170 Afghans killed by gunfire from Islamic State members.
Family members reportedly said that Lance Cpl. Merola had been in Afghanistan for less than two weeks when the attack happened.