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VIDEO: Friends, Family Honor Fallen Soldier Robert Marchanti

Close to 2,000 people attended a two-day memorial ceremony for the Army major at a church in Lutherville.

s children said he was a big man with an even bigger heart.

Son and daughter, Aaron and Leah Marchanti, spoke to media outside of in Lutherville, following a two-day memorial to honor their father who .

The siblings said they will remember the way he loved their mother the most.

"Ever since they met in high school, he's just loved her with every little bit of himself and there's a lot of him, so he loved her a lot," Leah Marchanti said.

More than 1,500 people attended the memorial Sunday night with hundreds more gathering at the church Monday morning. was held in Dundalk shortly after news broke of Marchanti's death.

Marchanti worked as a physical education and special education teacher in Baltimore County public schools from 1990 to 2008. He later joined the military full-time before deploying to Afghanistan in September 2011.

"He really touched so many people. It's hard to put into words exactly how he did it," said Lt. Col. Charles Kohler, a Maryland National Guard spokesman. "So many people's lives from students to soldiers to everybody that he met."

Marchanti's mission while based in Afghanistan was to mentor the Afghan National Police to improve operations, Kohler said.

The career reservist was killed during a rash of protests stemming from an incident where United States soldiers burned copies of the Koran, a Muslim holy book, WBAL reported.

The funeral will be held today, with internment scheduled to take place Tuesday morning at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors.

"Marchanti's family is asking that memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project. Attn: Donor Services, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, Fla. 23356," writes WBAL's Robert Lang.

Kristen March 19, 2012 at 08:16 PM
RIP Major Marchanti. We know you are now safe in the hands of God. We are thankful for your service to our country. I hope and pray that the evil person that did this will be found and punished. Your sacrifice is the greatest one a man can make.
Red Dolphin March 20, 2012 at 09:56 AM
I have a soft spot in my heart for all veterans,,,,,,,,,,,, and I cant even begin to find the words to express, how strong I feel about those who gave their lives for our country, our freedom & liberty............ we salute you Major Marchant !
Red Dolphin March 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM
I just sent out a group e-mail ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,a link to this page,,,,,,,,,,,,,along with a short note i will be sending a modest donation in Major Robert Marchanti's name. God Bless his family, where would we be with out heros like Major Marchanti ? SALUD!
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