This past weekend, Lawrence, Massachusetts welcomed Army Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez home. Fourteen months ago, the 25-year-old was reported missing after he and two other solders were captured during an ambush in Iraq.
On Saturday, Sgt. Jimenez’s flag-draped casket, resting atop a horse-drawn carriage, was somberly escorted by members of the 10th Mountain Division through flag-lined streets. They made their way to the church where Alex took his First Communion– and where his parents would say goodbye. His father, Ramon, wore his son’s dog tags around his neck; his mother, Maria, placed a cross on his casket.
Hundreds of people attended the services for Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez, including the Massachusetts governor and other elected officials. But perhaps the most poignant words offered came from a stranger to the family– a 57-year-old woman –who left work early to attend. Asked by her manager why she was attending the funeral of a solider she didn’t even know, Sharon Dupont gave this answerthrough her tears: “You know what? He didn’t know me… but he went over there for me.”
My friends,we do know Alex Jimenez– and all the other courageous men and women, from every background, every neighborhood of America, who answered the call of duty and gave service to this country with their lives.
We know them well. And the reason we know them well is becausethey are the
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