HONOLULU — With a Marine Corps honor guard firing a three-volley salute and a Marine bugler playing Taps, the ashes of 15-year-old John Zimmerman were interred with military honors here Thursday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Zimmerman, the Fountain Valley youth whose love for the Marines helped him fight the muscular dystrophy that took his life, died on Jan. 18. President Reagan granted special permission for him to be buried in the military cemetery in Puowaina Crater, more commonly known as Punchbowl.
A Navy chaplain paid tribute to the youth as his parents, Richard and Sandra Zimmerman; his sister, Joan, 17, and his closest friend, Marine Staff Sgt. Bob Menke, sat by a stand that held the urn topped with the Marine Corps crest.
Menke, a recruiter in Huntington Beach, befriended Zimmerman several years ago, and the two became close friends. The youth was made an honorary Marine three days before he died.