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Family and friends stand around Cpl. John C. Bishop’s tombstone September 10, 2011, while sharing stories and experiences with each other. Bishop was killed-in-action one year ago while serving as an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 9th Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, in Marjah, Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Pride, patriotism on display on anniversary of hero's death

10 Sep 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Families and friends remember their fallen loved ones in many different ways throughout the world. Some take a moment out of their day for a prayer and some have ceremonies.

For the Bishop family, September 10 is a day they remember their own loved one, but it isn’t about sulking in their sorrows. Family and friends honor their fallen hero, Cpl. John C. Bishop, with a 100-mile motorcycle ride and cookout.

John was serving as an infantryman with 2nd Battalion, 9th Regiment, 2nd Marine Division when he died from wounds sustained during a fire fight in Marjah, Afghanistan.

During the event family and friends raised funds to cover cost of the event, ate food, listened to a live band and raffled off prizes at the memorial park.

“I want to thank everyone here for coming and showing the love and admiration for our fallen son, brother, husband and father,” said Tyson Bishop, one of John’s five siblings in attendance.

Though there was a festive mood at the cookout, before the ride began, everyone in attendance took time to visit John’s burial site. Family and friends flooded the cemetery and stood around his tomb stone, where several people took the chance to speak on John’s behalf with anecdotes and prayers. Following the memorial there was a collective moment of silence. The sounds of sobs and sniffles filtered through the air.

After the short ceremony, more than 50 bikers mounted their motorcycles and began their trek of approximately 100 miles spanning over Indiana and Ohio. Along the trip, participants made stops at five American Legion clubs.

Following the 100-mile ride, everyone returned to a local park to enjoy the afternoon amongst family and friends.

“I love how the whole ride came together like it did,” said Cpl. Crystle Bishop, John’s wife and ammunition technician with Combat Logistics Regiment 2. “I’m glad I was able to come and enjoy the event. So many people showed up, it’s such a great feeling.”

After the ride was over, Crystle had time to reflect on the day and year she’s spent with her daughter since her husband’s passing.

“We’ve been through a lot this year,” she said. “To lose a spouse is something I wish on no one, but all the support I’ve had during this time has been incredible.”

As the sun set on the day, Crystle mentioned returning in one year.

“I’m already looking forward to coming back next year, and we’re hoping to have a lot more people attend,” she said.

Although it was a tragic event, the loss of a loved one can be dealt with in many different ways. Whether you take a minute or a whole day to remember someone, the important part is to ensure they are never forgotten.

John is survived by his wife and daughter, Ella-Monica, who was born after his passing.


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