HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — One of seven Marines killed last month during a Nevada training exercise is being remembered in his southwestern Illinois hometown as an inclusive person concerned for people.
The body of 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was laid to rest Wednesday after a funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.
The 2005 Highland High School graduate was killed March 18 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the sprawling Hawthorne Army Depot.
His father says his son expected to return home for good next month.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Rev. Scott Snider told mourners that Ripperda is at peace, and "we look forward to the day when the warriors' work is done and the light of peace breaks across the world."