Two brothers in arms — and death — will be honored this week with the renaming of the Yorba Linda post office.
The branch, at 4770 Eureka Ave., will become the “Cottle Centanni Post Office Building” to honor fallen U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Major Robert J. Cottle and Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni. The two Yorba Linda residents were killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in March 2010 when their armored vehicle ran over a roadside bomb.
Rep. Young Kim, who introduced the federal bill renaming the facility in their honor, is expected to attend the dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 17, along with members of the Cottle and Centanni families.
Cottle, 45, was a veteran Marine and high-ranking SWAT officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. Centanni, 19, was a 2008 graduate of Esperanza High School with dreams of following in his father’s footsteps as a police officer for the Santa Ana Police Department.
Despite their age difference, the pair “enjoyed a personal friendship,” friends said at the time, with Cottle taking Centanni under his wing.
The Yorba Linda community was shocked by the deaths of the two Marines and mourned together. Friends, family and strangers lined the streets of the community to pay their respects during funeral processions, held fundraisers and started a longstanding memorial run.
Cottle is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and Centanni at Riverside National Cemetery. Both received the Purple Heart for their service.
“We are able to enjoy our everyday freedoms because of the dedicated service and sacrifice of those who have answered the call to serve,” Kim said when she introduced the bill to honor the two. “I am proud to honor the sacrifice and valor of these fallen heroes who lost their lives too soon in the fight against terrorism and to help ensure future generations in our Placentia and Yorba Linda communities remember their names and their stories.”
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