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200 Attend Funeral for U.S. Sailor Killed in Terrorist Attack in Spain

January 03, 1988|Associated Press

REEDERS, Pa. — U.S. Navy Petty Officer Ronald C. Strong was buried in his hometown Saturday, a week after he was killed by a terrorist's grenade thrown into a crowded USO club in Barcelona, Spain.

About 200 mourners gathered beneath gray skies to watch as Strong's coffin was lowered into the snow-covered ground at Reeders Cemetery. A bugler played taps and a U.S. Naval Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute.

Attacker Threw Grenades

Strong was killed and nine others were injured Dec. 26 after an attacker, shouting: "Long live Lebanon," threw two hand grenades into the United Services Organization club.

Strong, who was on holiday liberty from the ship Thorn when the attack occurred, died last Sunday during surgery to remove shrapnel.

He was buried with a Purple Heart, and Rear Adm. Albert E. Rieder, commander of the Philadelphia Naval Base, presented a commendation for the medal and an American flag to his family.

Strong's parents, Donald and Beverly, and his pregnant wife, Amy, 19, were consoled at the funeral by family members, friends, representatives of local veterans organizations and Navy representatives.

"I would indeed be presumptuous to stand before you and pretend that I could give you a satisfactory explanation of this tragedy," Father Henry E. Zapotocki at Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church said in his eulogy. " . . . The events of last Saturday evening force us to deepen our trust in God."

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