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Services Held for Local Marine, Mario D. Gonzalez , Slain While on Iraq Duty

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Family, friends, and fellow Marines honored a hero Saturday with applause and a standing ovation. Services were held for Mario "Danny" Gonzalez, 21, of La Puente at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Baldwin Park. The Marine lance corporal was killed Nov. 14 when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy vehicle in the Anbar province of Iraq. Copyright © 2006 Pasadena Star-News

Services Held for Lo...
mario_gonzalez_16.jpg, image/jpeg, 258x390

A family's pride

Services held for Marine slain while on Iraq duty

By Claudia Palma, Staff Writer

Article Launched:11/25/2006 10:16:55 PM PST

BALDWIN PARK — Family, friends, and fellow Marines honored a hero Saturday with applause and a standing ovation.

Services were held for Mario "Danny" Gonzalez, 21, of La Puente at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Baldwin Park.

The Marine lance corporal was killed Nov. 14 when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy vehicle in the Anbar province of Iraq.

During the services, Dalila Ramirez, 18, spoke to Danny: "You are everything I ever hoped for in a man. I am thankful to have met you and blessed to have had you in my life." The two were engaged to be married next year.

Gonzalez joined the Marine Corps in June 2004 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

The Purple Heart medal was given to Mario Gonzalez and Patricia Arreola during the burial at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Covina Hills for their son's heroism.

His cousin, Pedro Gonzalez, 29, said he was proud of his cousin for deciding, at such a young age, that he wanted a better life for himself and his family.

"He was proud of what he was doing, even though he seemed tired [on his last tour]," Pedro Gonzalez said. "He couldn't understand why he was still overseas, in this war, why nothing was solved after all this time. But he was strong and said he wanted to finish what he started.

"He was always so happy when we saw him on leave. He was proud of being a Marine, of fighting for his country and protecting his family," Pedro said.

Pedro keeps a letter his cousin sent him while on duty that made him realize how much Danny looked to him for guidance, and he hopes he comforted him and made an impact on Danny's life.

"He touched a lot of people's hearts," Pedro said as he looked to the large crowd surrounding his cousin's grave site.

Mario Gonzalez said his son "died for a cause that — to many — is an injustice, and we have learned to resign to the fact that many wonderful people like my son will die if it continues this way."

Mario said even though Danny is gone, they still have memories to hold on to — lots of good memories.

claudia.palma@sgvn.com

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2123

Copyright © 2006 Pasadena Star-News

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Father Watches

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Father Watches...
mario_gonzalez_1.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x268

Outside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Mario Gonzalez watches his son Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' casket leave the church as he is comforted by a family member and his girlfriend Enedelia Morales Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Baldwin Park. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Dalilah Ramirez

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Dalilah Ramirez...
mario_gonzalez_2.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

Dalilah Ramirez, 18, of Los Angeles, is comforted at her boyfriend Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' funeral at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Baldwin Park as she holds a letter from him Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Communion

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Communion...
mario_gonzalez_3.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x279

Family and friends take communion during Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' funeral at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Baldwin Park. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Honor Guard

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Honor Guard...
mario_gonzalez_4.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

The Honor Guard carry Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' casket out of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Baldwin Park. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Honor Guard

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Honor Guard...
mario_gonzalez_5.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x174

The Honor Guard carry Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez out of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Baldwin Park Saturday, November 25, 2006 as the Patriot Guard Riders, a group of veterans and bikers, stand at attention outside the church. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Uncle

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Uncle...
mario_gonzalez_6.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

Outside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Israel Campos carries his nephew, Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' portrait after his funeral Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Baldwin Park. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Father and Family

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Father and Family...
mario_gonzalez_7.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x268

Outside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Mario Gonzalez watches his son Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' casket leave the church as he is comforted by a family member and his girlfriend Enedelia Morales Saturday, November 25, 2006 in Baldwin Park. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Friends and Family

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Friends and Family...
mario_gonzalez_8.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

Outside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, friends and family watch The Honor Guard carry Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' casket to the hearst in Baldwin Park before going to Forest Lawn in Covina Hills for the burial service Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Patriot Guard

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Patriot Guard...
mario_gonzalez_9.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

The Patriot Guard Riders stand at attention during the burial service of Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Family

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Family...
mario_gonzalez_10.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x248

Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' family watches his casket arrive to his burial service at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006 as the Patriot Guard Riders' flags enclose the service. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Second from left is his father Mario Gonzalez and his girlfriend Enedelia Morales. Second from right is his mother Patricia Arreola with his girlfriend Dalilah Ramirez, left and sister Karina Gonzalez right. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Honor Guard

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Honor Guard...
mario_gonzalez_11.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

The Honor Guard carry Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez to his burial service at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006 as the Patriot Guard Riders hold flags. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Mother and Daughter

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Mother and Daughter...
mario_gonzalez_12.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' mother Patricia Arreola wipes tears from 9-year-old daughter Melissa Tolosa during his burial service at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Passed Out

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Passed Out...
mario_gonzalez_13.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x294

Enedelia Morales passes out during Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' burial service at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Morales is the girlfriend of the father Mario Gonzalez. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Dog Tags

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Dog Tags...
mario_gonzalez_14.jpg, image/jpeg, 260x390

Dalilah Ramirez, 18, of Los Angeles, wears a copy of her boyfriend Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' dog tags during his buriel at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

by DJ Monday, Nov. 27, 2006 at 9:42 AM

Ashes to Ashes, Dust...
mario_gonzalez_15.jpg, image/jpeg, 400x267

Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez' family and friends watch his casket being buried at Forest Lawn in Covina Hills Saturday, November 25, 2006. Gonzalez, of La Puente, was killed November 14 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

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