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Marine, 23, mourned in Cedar Knolls
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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

CEDAR KNOLLS -- The Cypress Drive neighborhood where Chris Cosgrove grew up is lined with flags to honor the Marine who was killed in Iraq on Sunday.

Neighbors say Cosgrove, a 23-year-old lance corporal, was nearing the end of his tour of duty and was to come homethis month. His mother, Charlene Bowie, was seen Saturday carrying a welcome-home banner into the house, neighbors said.

"The word was that Chris was supposed to already be home," said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. "But the soldiers that were replacing his unit got delayed in San Diego, and so he had to stay in Iraq."

On Tuesday, a procession of family and friends came to Cosgrove's home. Some brought flowers; others dropped notes in the mailbox out front.

Upon learning of the tragedy, neighbor Sue Greene walked up and down the neighborhood with her daughter Kim, putting American flags on the lawns. Reached at the Morristown dry cleaners where she works, Greene was modest.

"My daughter went to school with Chris," Greene said. "It's just something we felt like doing. We didn't do it to draw attention to ourselves."

Another neighbor, Justine Conte, noticed the American flag in front of her mailbox Monday afternoon. She didn't know Cosgrove, and knew nothing of his death. "I didn't know what to make of the flag," she said. "I thought it was some kind of federal holiday that I hadn't known about. This is really sad."

Cosgrove was a reservist with G Company of the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines, attached to Picatinny Arsenal. A Picatinny spokesperson had no information on Cosgrove's death, and was awaiting an official release by the Marine Corps.

No funeral arrangements had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.

Cosgrove was a 2001 graduate of Whippany Park High School, where he played football and lacrosse and ran track. He received a degree in history from Monmouth University in 2005. He joined the Marine Reserve after college graduation and was sent to Iraq in April for a seven-month tour.

He was the 61st member of the armed forces with New Jersey ties to die in the Iraq war.


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