Sunday was a somber day in Montebello, as the family of Lance Cpl. Marco Barranco was outside its home to be presented with a folded flag in his honor.
The love and support from the community continued to pour in with a visible growing memorial paying tribute to his sacrifice–photos, flowers and candles.
Known as Andy to his loved ones, the 21-year-old Montebello native leaves behind his niece, sisters and parents.
“My dad always says, ‘I lost my best friend and my son,’” Cathy Barranco, the fallen Marine’s sister said. “So, it’s a little hard to see them struggling.”
Fellow Marines who are also from Montebello came to the family’s home with the flag that flew over the state Capitol.
Senator Bob Archuleta from Pico Rivera conducted the ceremony…
“It is time that we understand that the sacrifice of these men and women, regardless of where they are serving–in the United States, or abroad–we must recognize their service and honor it,” Archuleta said.
Barranco and several U.S. service members based out of Camp Pendleton were on a training mission off San Clement Island when their amphibious vehicle started to fill with water. The 26 ton vessel sank 400 feet, as crew members tried to escape. Eight were killed.
Cathy Barranco says the family is coping the best they can and trying to find ways to feel close to him.
“If one of us feels down, the other one tries to bring us up and you know, talk about those memories that we had of him, play some of his music, go to places he used to hang out and sit there and think about all the times that we had with him.”
The flag was folded up 13 times, each fold representing a different symbol of a serviceman’s life, and presented to Barranco’s family.
Even though they’re grieving his loss, they know his ultimate goal of becoming a marine was fulfilled.
“I’m really proud of him,” Cathy Barranco said. “There are no words to explain that, and it’s just an endless amount of love that I have for him.”