Paris Parks & Recreation Director Candace Jack erected two memorials to locally honor the service men and women killed last month in Afghanistan. This one is located at Moore Park on High Street in South Paris. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

PARIS — On August 15, 13 American service men and women were killed during a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan, while assisting with civilian evacuations at the Kabul Airport.

Touched by the tragedy, Candace Jack, Paris’ parks and recreation director, decided to make a local show of support for those who lost their lives in the attack.

Jack printed the name and picture of each one and built a memorial near the veteran’s monument in Moore Park on Sept. 3, accompanied by electric candles and American flags.

“I just wanted to honor them,” Jack said of her arrangement. “I come from a military family and it’s important to honor them all, past and present.”

Jack’s father served in Vietnam in the Army, her stepfather was a reserve in the Maine National Guard and her grandfather served during World War II and fought at the Battle of the Bulge.

When Jack told her co-workers at the Honey Badger Bar & Grill in Oxford about it, the group pitched in to create a second wall memorial in the restaurant, also with a light, flag and rose for each life lost.


Posts on Paris Parks & Recreation and Honey Badger’s Facebook pages have been shared dozens of times.

“It’s gotten a great response,” Jack said, adding that she had even heard that people traveling to Maine from out of state posted that they hoped the memorials are still up when they visit later this month.

The names and hometowns of the lost Marines, soldier and Navy corpsman are: Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, from Norco, California; Cpl Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, from Logansport, Indiana; Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, from Lawrence, Massachusetts; Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, from Sacramento, California; Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, from Rancho Cucamonga, California; Lance Lpl Rylee J. McCollum, 20, from Jackson Wyoming; Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, from Omaha, Nebraska; Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, from Rio Bravo, Texas; Staff St. Ryan C. Knauss. 23, from Corryton, Tennessee; Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, from Berlin Height, Ohio; Lance Cpl. Jared. Schmitz, 20, was from St. Charles, Missouri; Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, from Salt Lake City, Utah; and Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, from Indio, California.

A memorial for 13 service men and women who were killed in Afghanistan last month is on display at Honey Badger Bar & Grill. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat


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