Benjamin N. Cerniglia, 31, of Montgomery, Ala. was one of seven marines killed in a midair collision between two helicopters during a training exercise near the Chocolate Mountains along the California-Arizona border.
Officials say it may take weeks to determine the cause of the accident.
Cerniglia was a student at Florida State University where he was studying business. His father, Mark Cerniglia, is a pastor at The Lutheran Church of Our Savior in South Carolina. A memorial service will be held on Monday at the church.
“We grieve for the loss of these talented young lives and pray for all the families and communities that are in mourning also,” said a statement on the church website.
Cerniglia has a powerful quote on his Florida State profile page.
“I’ve seen a lot of danger, but I have the courage to see more.”
Alabama should be proud to have had Cerniglia represent the state in such a courageous fashion.