FLUSHING, NY, USA U.S. Marines CPL, H&S CO, 3D BN, 8TH MAR (1-1 AD, I MEF FWD) 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC AR RAMADI, IRAQ 07/20/2006
A young Marine whose journey to a new life in the United States ended in death during a battle in an Iraqi war zone was mourned yesterday by scores of loved ones in Queens.
Marine Corporal Julian Ramon, 22, a Colombian immigrant who lived in Flushing, was fatally injured July 20 by an explosion during combat operations in Iraq’s Anbar Province, an area rife with insurgent activity.
“He was a good son, a good cousin, a good nephew, a good grandson. He was great with all his family members,” said Ramon’s cousin Maria Camilla Mutis.
“Since he died on the independence day of Colombia, he will be liberated from this world and from all pain,” she added.
“The smile that he always gave to his family members will always stay in our hearts.”
Mourners brushed tears from their eyes during the solemn service at St. Michael’s Church, which featured a Mass celebrated in Spanish.
Ramon came to the United States at age 4. After graduating from John Bowne High School in Jamaica and working briefly at an Off-Track Betting parlor, he enlisted in the Marines, hoping later to attend college and have a career in criminal justice.
Ramon was serving his second tour with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He dreamed of coming home this year.
His aunt, Ana Ramon-Foote of Easton, Mass., said her fondest memory of Ramon was his incredible spirit. “He was a delight,” she said. “He would hold doors for people. He was a loving person.”
Ramon’s fellow Marines carried his flag-draped coffin outside the church yesterday morning, where veterans on motorcycles waited to accompany his hearse to Long Island National Cemetery.
City Councilman John Liu (D-Queens) said Ramon was the first Flushing soldier to die while on active duty in Iraq.
“They have lost their beloved son, and the loss is felt throughout this community,” Liu said.