Fallen Aurora Marine to Be Honored With a Street Dedication Sunday
As the nation takes time this weekend to remember the courageous military men and women who paid the ultimate price while in service, the City of Aurora will honor the life and sacrifice of one of its own fallen Marines.
It was seven years ago this month that United States Marine Corps Corporal Sara Medina died in action while serving on a humanitarian aid relief mission in central Nepal.
On Sunday, May 29, at 1 p.m., her family and friends will gather near her childhood home for a special Street Dedication Ceremony in the 1600 block of Liberty Street on Aurora’s east side.
“She was the best daughter, the best sister, and the best friend,” said Medina’s mother, Cecilia Lopez Leyva, who looks forward to seeing her daughter’s name on their street, appropriately named Liberty.
A combat photographer, Medina enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2010, shortly after graduating from East Aurora High School. Before deploying to Nepal, she had photographed Marines in South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Australia, and the U.S.
After a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, the U.S. military deployed a Joint Humanitarian Assistance Team. Unfortunately, on the afternoon of May 12, 2015, the helicopter transporting two Nepali soldiers and six U.S. Marines crashed eight miles north of Charikot, Nepal, killing all on board, including Corporal Sara Medina.
She was just 23 years old.
During the 2021 Aurora Memorial Day Ceremony, a proclamation was presented to designate November 27, her birthday, as ‘Sara Medina Day’ in Aurora. In addition, at the 2021 Aurora Veterans Day Ceremony, Cpl. Sara Medina was posthumously honored as part of the historic all-female Grand Marshals unit, highlighting the service of female veterans. Her mother participated in her honor.
“She was such a special girl who loved her community and her country,” said Lopez Leyva.