NORCO (CBSLA) – Hundreds took part in a parade down 6th street in Norco Sunday to honor Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, who was killed alongside 12 other service members outside the Kabul Airport by a suicide bomber.
Nikoui was baptized at Grace Fellowship Church in Norco and a member of the ROTC growing up.READ MORE: Evacuations Ordered As University Fire Burns In San Bernardino
“His passion was to become a marine,” said Matt Moore, a family friend and military veteran.
People on the parade route also wanted to recognize the sacrifice made by Nikoui’s mother, who is well known in the community.
That could’ve been any one of our kids,” said Lea Baca, a Norco Resident. “To see this happen… there’s no question. Norco is a city of community and family.”READ MORE: LAUSD Hosts COVID Vaccine Clinics Ahead Of Deadline For Employees
Earlier in the day, the American Legion held a pancake breakfast to help raise funds for Nikoui’s family. His grandmother, Jolena Kamstra was there to experience the heartfelt support.
“Everybody remembering him… as a hero is exactly what my grandson is. A hero,” said Kamstra.
She says this video shows how he wanted to defend those who couldn’t defend themselves.
“He did what he wanted to do and saving those families and those children meant so much to him.”MORE NEWS: Proof Of Vaccination Must Be Shown With Photo ID To Get Into LA County Indoor Events Of 1,000 Or More Attendees
The American Legion says it was able to raise about $25,000 during the pancake breakfast for Kareem Nikoui’s family.