11th Annual Holly Charette Motorcycle Run held Sunday

West Bay

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A local marine killed in action 14 years ago was honored during an event in Cranston.

Lance Cpl. Holly Charette joined the U.S. Marine Corps soon after 9/11. Her family tells Eyewitness News she felt compelled to serve her country following the tragedy.

On June 23, 2005, Charette’s convoy was hit by a suicide bomber in Fallujah. Charette, 21, became the first female marine to lose her life during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following her death, the Cranston community has worked tirelessly to honor her memory. The post office in Rolfe Square was dedicated to her and a bike run was established in her name.

“Holly was like a lion in the roar so we did a motorcycle run,” Ed Roberts, Charette’s father, said.

That roar could be heard loud and clear as the motorcycles took off down Pontiac Avenue Sunday for the 11th Annual Holly Charette Motorcycle Run.

Charette’s parents estimate more than 300 people turned out for the run.

“It’s amazing the support and love that has shown for Holly,” Regina, Charette’s mother, said.

Charette’s parents are still reeling from the loss of their daughter.

“Losing a child and that pain never goes away, no matter what circumstance you lost your child from, that heartache is with you forever,” Regina said. “We love talking about her and happy tears are coming out because everyone’s here for her. We miss her tremendously and if we can pay it forward and other people try to pay it forward, that’s what she’s about.”

The money raised through the motorcycle run will fund scholarships for students at the two high schools Holly attended: Cranston East and Coventry High School.

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