What 4th of July Means to my family and me

It was a cold Saturday morning. I remember the day so vividly because at the time of my Uncle's death I was on the Ice playing a hockey game against one of our rival teams. When I got in the car to go home after the game I could tell something was off. My mom wasn't talking... which is weird... she is never not talking.

We got home, she had me and my siblings sitting in our living in the couch bundled up close together.

That's when I found out my Uncle Justin had been killed in Iraq.

He was the kindest man. People described him as big as an ox with a heart even bigger. Legend has it the moments leading up to his death he was standing on top of a building while his platoon searched and secured the location. There were a few kids on the side of the building who looked frightened and confused. He grabbed a few candy bars from his pack and threw it down to them. Minutes later he died in his best friends arm after an enemy sniper sh.... this is too hard to type actually... I'm sorry.

The point of this story is the 4th of July is for my Uncle Justin. His birthday was July 4th. When he was a kid he always thought the fireworks were for him. NOW THEY ARE. They symbolize him and what we gave for this country.

It makes me sad now that two years older than he was when he passed away in 2007. He missed out on so much life. That's why I'm trying to live mine to the fullest.

Every fourth I call my sister and we light off a massive firework at the same time to light up the sky for the big guy.

Blast off a firework in his honor.

RIP Uncle Justin.

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