Hundreds of Hawthorne-area rural residents turned out for the Tuesday evening memorial for seven Marines killed during training, laying wreaths and calling for prayers.
The Nevada town dubs itself "America's Patriotic Home," The Associated Press reports, and takes pride in its Hawthorne Ordnance Museum and displays of World War II era artifacts. It's not uncommon for businesses to display signs: "Please Pray For Our Marines."
Families with children toting American flags flocked to the memorial. Nearly 300 — the majority of whom did not personally know the Marines who were killed — attended the service, as the city lowered its main flag to half-mast.
Since World War II, Hawthorne Army Depot has been a crucial U.S. military base. It serves as a munitions and disposal site, and a training area for troops headed toward overseas deployments like Afghanistan, AP reports.
Monday, seven Marines were killed in a training-related explosion and seven more injured. Marine investigators are looking into the specific causes.
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