Enjoy the picnics and parties today, but if you can, spend a few minutes reflecting on why you have the day off.
Please visit the Military Times page Honor the Fallen and look at a few of the men and women who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among those you’ll find there is Shawn Martin. From the AP story:
The last time Marine Sgt. Shawn P. Martinâ€™s family heard from him was the day he arrived in Iraq, May 22. He e-mailed his family that day: â€œI thank God that I wake up every morning and put on this uniform with the knowledge of knowing that for all that I sacrifice today allows you all to have a safer and brighter tomorrow. Again I thank you all for all the support you give me and my brothers in arms. All my love. Shawn.â€
Martin, 30, of Delmar, N.Y., was killed June 20 while conducting combat operations in Anbar province. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Before graduating high school in 1995, he played football from 1991 until his senior year. After graduation, he joined the same fire department his father and grandfather had been part of.
â€œHe climbed all over the fire trucks when he was a kid. He wanted to follow in his fatherâ€™s footsteps. He always said he couldnâ€™t wait to join,â€ family friend Tom Heffernan said.
â€œHe wanted to be the guy going in and taking care of everybody. He would do whatever he needed to do to get the job done,â€ said Elsmere fire captain Rick Zigrosser.
He is survived by his wife Marianne.