Prayers and an exhortation never to forget the sacrifice of military service members were the response of the US military archbishop to a deadly Marine Corps plane crash on Monday.
“I express my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost loved ones in this terrible accident,” Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said July 11. “My heart also goes out to their colleagues and others who worked with them. They also suffer the loss and ask questions.”
“I ask the faithful to join me in prayer for the repose of those who died and the consolation of their families,” he continued.
A KC-130 Hercules plane crashed in western Mississippi July 10, killing 15 Marines and a Navy corpsman. It had departed from a Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, CNN reports. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Six of the Marines and the sailor were from the Second Marine Raider Battalion, an elite unit based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They were traveling to Arizona for training. The other nine Marines were from Orange County, New York.
The archbishop said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear of the deadly crash.
Archbishop Broglio noted the military was also affected by the recent deaths in the June 17 collision between the U.S.S. Fitzgerald and a cargo ship off the coast of Japan.
“Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to defend our great nation and the freedoms we cherish,” he said. “We should keep them in our prayers always, and never take their sacrifice for granted.”