Marwan S. GhabourGhabour

Arlington's Memorial Day ceremony paid a virtual tribute to an active-duty soldier who died in a helicopter crash in Egypt last fall.

Chief Warrant Officer Marwan Ghabour, a 2010 Arlington High School graduate, was among five U.S. Army soldiers who died Nov. 12.

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In addition to the town's regular speakers, this year's ceremony will feature comments from veterans who served in various conflicts about their thoughts on the meaning of Memorial Day. The ceremony will be broadcast on ACMi and other social media outlets beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 31.

Ghabour grew up in Arlington, was a member of the soccer and wrestling teams and worked as a high school intern for ACMi, the local access television station.Nearly 100 residents helped place flags on the graves of veterans at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on May 8 and 15. Some volunteers shared their thoughts on Memorial Day in a video below:

Mr. Ghabour was laid to rest on Thursday, Nov. 19. A procession from Hanscom Airforce Base, including the family, was conducted in his honor, led by Arlington police the length of Mass. Ave., from Lexington to Cambridge. 

A private family service was held at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in West Roxbury, with an interment ceremony at Cedar Knoll Cemetery.

Family response last November

Sarah Ghabbour, Marwan’s cousin, wrote Nov. 15: "Marwan and I were the same age and grew up in Arlington together. He was my childhood best friend and stood up for me on countless occasions. We attended Thompson Elementary, Ottoson Middle and Arlington High.

"He was well loved by everyone around him and was known for making people laugh. Our AHS history teacher reached out to me, saying, “Marwan will always stay in my memory as one of my funniest and most engaging students from my early years teaching.

"Besides being a genuine and loving person, he was committed to serving others and was proud to be a Muslim service member. The last time I saw him, in December 2019, we talked about the parallels of serving in the army and as a medical doctor [my current profession]." 

Sean Harrington, an Arlington High graduate, wrote on Arlington, MA, Residents Facebook on  Nov. 15: "We were in the wrestling team together. He was always cheerful and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He never let anything stop him on the wrestling team, he kept always got back up and kept going." 

Muhaned Ghabour, 21, told “My brother was a very loving person” that his friends and family knew they could always lean on. That’s why he went to the Army: He wanted to be part of something greater than himself, serve this country, and help as many people as he can.”

Strong morals always guided Mr. Ghabour, and he was proud to be a Muslim fighting for his country, his brother told The Globe.

Muhaned told WHDH News that he looked up to his brother. “Without a doubt, he was my role model in so many ways. He just taught me so much as far as being compassionate, taking responsibility, doing the right thing even when it’s not popular. That one especially.”

Soccer statements

Mr. Ghabour, whose hometown is listed as Marlborough, but who grew up in Arlington, played goalkeeper for the Arlington Soccer Club. He received the Sam Oliver Memorial Scholarship. On its website, the club said the award is made "each spring to graduating seniors with reputations for good sportsmanship and who have continued to play, coach, or referee for ASC during their high school years. Consistent with the scholarship’s mission of civic duty, Marwan exemplified all of the qualities of a player you would want on your team, on and off the field."

Arlington High School soccer coach Lance Yodzio said in a Nov. 15 statement: "Marwan was such a hard-working player and stepped up big time for the team in the 2009 tournament run. He was a real committed teammate. In the spirit of giving back, he was the volunteer goalkeeper coach in 2015.

"Our soccer team will dedicate the remaining week of the season in honor of his memory. At our last home game next Saturday, we will conduct a moment of silence."

After AHS, Mr. Ghabour attended Boston Architectural College, his family said.

Mr. Ghabour took a job at architectural firm CBT Architects in Boston after graduating in 2016, but he found his real passion was in the sky. “Every time he would talk about flying, his eyes would light up,” his brother told The Globe in a phone interview.

According to the Army, Ghabour was commissioned as a warrant officer in 2018 and had been in Egypt since January as part of the Multinational Force and Observers, a peacekeeping mission founded to supervise the Egyptian-Israel peace treaty in 1981.


The Boston Globe reported Nov. 20 that he had been awarded the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and Army Aviation Bridge. 

Nov. 15, 2020: Procession held for AHS grad who died in Army copter crash

 This news summary was published Sunday, May 23, 2021..