Memorial For Marine At Scranton High School

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SCRANTON -- Scranton High School unveiled a monument Tuesday for a former student and marine who paid the ultimate price defending our freedom.

It truly was an emotional morning at Scranton High School as a monument was unveiled for U.S. Marine Larry Johnson, a Scranton High School grad who gave his life in service to our country.

"It’s overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes."

A memorial now marks the sacrifices of a Scranton Marine, and Scranton High School grad.

Lance Cpl. Larry Johnson died defending our freedom while deployed to Iraq just a few years ago. His family stood proud at Scranton High as this battlefield cross memorial was unveiled.

"I’m sure he’s up there smiling right now,” said his father Larry Johnson. “You know because he is looking down on us.  We all know that."

Marine Daniel McGuigan graduated just a year after Johnson at Scranton High School, and fought back tears kneeling next to the new memorial.

"I wouldn’t miss it for the world."

He wears Johnson's name on a bracelet every single day and was honored to see this tribute for a fellow brother.

"It’s the Marine Corps that brings you together. We’re all the same kind of people. It’s really tough when you lose somebody. It never gets easy."

Johnson's mother Johanna also fought back tears seeing her son's battlefield cross monument, one that will now sit inside a glass case at the high school entrance, sharing her son's story with generations of students to come.

"All the students that are coming here will see what he has done for their country, and what he sacrificed for them to be here at this school,” she said.

Johnson's family says the memorial reminds them of how painful their loss is, but also how proud they are of their son, Lance Cpl. Larry Johnson.

"I wish Larry could be here,” said his stepfather Jeff Whitney. “I’m sure he’s watching over us, I know without a doubt he is, but I wish he could be here in person."

The bronze battlefield cross monument will be placed in its permanent location inside a glass case at Scranton High School sometime early next week.