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HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - One of seven Marines killed last month during a Nevada training exercise is being remembered in his southwestern Illinois hometown as an inclusive person concerned for people.
The body of 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda was laid to rest Wednesday after a funeral Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, east of St. Louis.
The 2005 Highland High School graduate was killed March 18 when a mortar shell exploded in its firing tube at the sprawling Hawthorne Army Depot.
His father says his son expected to return home for good next month.
The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/10rgMaZ) reports that Rev. Scott Snider told mourners that Ripperda is at peace, and "we look forward to the day when the warriors' work is done and the light of peace breaks across the world."
Family and friends prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corporal Aaron Ripperda.
The 26-year-old Highland, Illinois native died in a training exercise in March in Nevada. A funeral Mass is set for this morning. Ripperda graduated from Highland High School in 2005.
The Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket at the funeral. They would protest what they call, “a nation of sodomites and hypocrites”.
And the body of Aaron Ripperda is coming home Monday.
His remains will arrive at Lambert Airport between 2:30 PM and 3:00 PM and then be taken to his hometown of Highland, Illinois. Lambert Airport Police, Missouri Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police and, The Patriot Guard will escort Ripperda's body to Highland.