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Gilroy
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April 13, 2021

He served his country with honor and grace

Dear Editor,
While sitting in Council Chambers listening to a press
conference, I was informed by a reporter for The Dispatch that
Lance Cpl. Jeramy Ailes, a 22-year old U.S. Marine serving with the
First Marine Division in Fallujah, had been killed in action in the
fighting in that city.
Dear Editor,

While sitting in Council Chambers listening to a press conference, I was informed by a reporter for The Dispatch that Lance Cpl. Jeramy Ailes, a 22-year old U.S. Marine serving with the First Marine Division in Fallujah, had been killed in action in the fighting in that city.

It was almost a physical blow. Memories of the worst (and strangely, in some ways, the best) year of my life, 1968, came flooding back.

It’s not a Cory MCarthy story, with a happy ending. It’s a story that will end with a Marine Honor Guard, a rifle salute, a folded flag, and a family without a son.

That is, for most of us. For the Ailes family, of course, it will be different. The hurt will last all of their days. For most of us, Jeramy will be called to mind on Memorial Day and Veterans day, and when we view the bronze plaques at our Veterans Hall, where I am sure his name will be added to the dozens of Gilroyans who have previously fallen in battle. We have that luxury. They do not.

On a day in the near future, the U.S. flag at City Hall will be half-masted during the funeral service for a young man who saw his duty clearly after our great national tragedy of September 11th, and acted on his beliefs. His loss is not only that of his family, although of course they are paying the highest price, but for all Gilroyans.

For that reason, I ask all citizens who cannot attend his service to pause for a moment during that time, and reflect upon the gift given our nation each day by the men and women of our Armed Forces. May God bless them all, and this sad day, one in particular.

Robert T. Dillon,

City Councilman, Gilroy

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