About 1,000 family members, friends and Coast Guard members mourned the death of Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, 34, of Redondo Beach. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was among those who attended the memorial at Reservation Point.
"This tragic attack also reminds us of the unique dangers the men and women of the Coast Guard face and their willingness to meet them at a moment's notice with great valor and selflessness," Napolitano said.
Horne, a 14-year veteran, trained hundreds of men and women in the Coast Guard. Some said they considered him a big brother and mentor.
"He was undeniably the very best kind of chief," said Coast Guard Lt. Stewart Sibert during a speech. "Godspeed, Terrell. We wish you fair winds and following seas. We will miss you dearly."
Coast Guard aircraft conducted a flyover to pay tribute to the 14-year veteran.
Horne was aboard a boat last Sunday that was dispatched to intercept a suspected drug smugglers' boat near the Channel Islands. That boat rammed Horne's vessel, throwing him into the ocean. Horne was struck in the head by a propeller.
Horne was posthumously awarded a medal for his heroism on the day of his death. He is survived by his pregnant wife and their two young sons.
Mexican nationals Jose Leyva and Manuel Beltran Higuera were charged in Los Angeles with killing a federal officer of the United States while that officer was engaged in his official duties. They made their first court appearance Monday. They were expected back in court Dec. 17.