HICKORY, N.C. -- A final salute is planned for Monday evening as the community will gather to honor Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwork who was killed in a tragic training accident in Nevada last month.
The memorial will be held Monday evening at Saint Stephens High School. Dozens of people have gathered to pay their respects.
Lots of ceremonial goodbyes, including a 21-gun salute are planned.
The public memorial service will begin around seven o'clock in the St. Stephens High School gym where Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwork graduated from back in 2010.
The family is receiving guests, and will then come to the gym to mourn with loved ones, former classmates and complete strangers.
The Patriot Guard ushered the family from a private ceremony Monday morning to the high school where volunteers were decorating the halls Vanderwork roamed just three years ago
Monday night’s ceremony is the third memorial for the young marine from Hickory. The first was held earlier this week in the Camp LeJune area.
On March 18, seven Marines including Vanderwork were killed, and eight other service members wounded in a mortar explosion at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. The explosion is still under investigation.
Vanderwork had been married for just nine months. His wife will join his mother and little sister at Monday's service.
The service, which will include a 21 gun salute, a lantern release and candlelight vigil, starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
As for the actual accident, an investigation is ongoing. There's still no word on what cause that mortar to go off.