LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Students and staff at Lake Worth Community High School are coping with the loss of a recent graduate.
19 year old Marine Jose Hernandez was killed Monday in Afghanistan, 13 days before his 20th birthday.
Lance Corporal Hernandez stepped on an IED and waited until all his fellow Marines took cover before he removed his foot from the explosive device. For his sacrifice, Hernandez's classmates are paying tribute to his act of bravery.
"We are going to be at Lake Worth beach tomorrow (Friday) night from seven to ten to have like a candlelight ceremony," said Sarah Lishen, Junior ROTC student at Lake Worth Community High School.
Hernandez graduated from Lake Worth Community High School in 2009. He is being remembered as a hero and a young man who knew what he wanted in life.
"At one point I asked him, so why are you joining Air Force ROTC, and he says 'because there's no Marine ROTC'. So he was very clear," said Colonel Jose Martinez, the Lake Worth Community High School Junior ROTC instructor.
Hernandez's name will be added to the school's memorial wall. School leaders say a name has not been added to the wall since the Vietnam war.
The school's Junior ROTC program is planning to have a special dedication ceremony for Hernandez in January.
Copyright (c) 2010 The E. W . Scripps Company and Angie's List
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