Cafe Kili Honors Military Heroes In A Special Way

Local coffee shop memorializes fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day has special meaning for Rose Waruinge. The owner of knows all about sacrifice. Kevin, her oldest son, gave his life for his country on August 3, 2005. 

Patrick Gachau, Kevin's father, created “Heroes Corner” to honor his memory. On a wall of Café Kili is a photograph of Marine Lance Cpl. Kevin G. Waruinge and 13 other Marines who died together in a troop carrier explosion in Iraq. Four of the 14 soldiers have local area ties.

“It is important to teach our children of the sacrifice they (the Marines) have made for the freedom we have,” Patrick said. 

Patrick contacted families of the Marines who died alongside Kevin. He invited each of them to send a photograph of their son. All families responded with a photo.

Representatives of all families attended the dedication of “Heroes Corner” in April 2006.

One other photograph has since been added to the wall, Marine Cpl. Ronald R. Payne Jr., 1981-2004, from Lakeland. Ronald Payne, Sr., encourages everyone to say “thank you” to our service men and women.

“If you cannot thank the soldier, you can thank the family who meant the most to them,” he said.

Photographs in memory of fallen soldiers from any branch of the military are welcome. For more information, reach Patrick at 813-988-2879.


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