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Marine General Marks Memorial Day By Reading Letter From Fallen Camp Pendleton Marine

Sgt. William Stacey with his girlfriend Kimmy Kirkwood
Stacey family photo / Seattle Times
Sgt. William Stacey with his girlfriend Kimmy Kirkwood

Marine General John Allen, the top U.S and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, paid tribute to all fallen troops on this Memorial Day by reading the final letter of Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. William Stacey, who was killed January 31 by an IED while on foot patrol in Afghanistan.

Before reading the letter, the Associated Press reports, Allen said:

"Today we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms."

As Home Post reported shortly after Stacey's death, the young Marine Sergeant had left a letter with his family to be read in case of his death. The Stacey family shared that letter with the Seattle Times, which read:

"My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all. But there is a greater meaning to it. Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his. And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader's henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire. He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it.

Semper Fidelis means always faithful. Always faithful to God, Country and Corps. Always faithful to the principles and beliefs that guided me into the service. And on that day in October when I placed my hand on a bible and swore to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I meant it."