Mother of fallen Marine Conner Lowry spends Memorial Day at her son's grave

May 27, 2013 (ALSIP, Ill.)

Modie Lavin's son Marine Corporal Conner Lowry was killed in combat in Afghanistan on March 1, 2012.

"I saw three Marines there, and I just approached them slowly thinking why are you here, and knowing just deep down inside why they were there. And I just felt my body go into shock," Lavin said.

She says her son joined the Marines because he loved America and wanted to serve his country.

The 24-year-old Marine grew up in the Beverly neighborhood and was a graduate of Brother Rice High School.

Lavin says it's been hard since her son died, but she says he would want her to live by his favorite motto: to live life large.

"I knew my life would never be the same, and it hasn't been," she said. "But I'm doing my best because I know he'd want me to move on, be a bigger than life personality."

Coins have been placed on Lowry's grave throughout the day.

A penny signified that you are a fellow marine, a nickel means you went through boot camp together and a quarter signifies you were there when the Marine whose name is on the tombstone was killed.

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