Philadelphia native Sgt. Sherwood Baker was killed in a building explosion in Baghdad on April 26, 2004, leaving behind a wife and a son who was 9 years old. His brother, Dante Zappala, writes on Memorial Day of how his life and death continues to inspire him, the rest of Baker's family, and people who knew -- and who didn't know -- him:

We remember Sherwood as we work amidst an inspired group of unlikely activists -- Gold Star and Military Families who want an end to the war in Iraq. We are regular folks, your every day nobodies, whose grief and vigilance is aimed at preventing further tragedy. We have banged on the doors in Washington, we have marched in the streets of America. We have relentlessly called for an immediate end to this hideous debacle.
Despite our efforts, and the efforts of millions of other dedicated citizens, the war has raged for more than 5 years. Memorial Day offers us pause, even as men and women, Americans and Iraqis, suffer death and injury.
In this moment as the eye passes over us, I find, perhaps, a single enlightening parallel. Our heroes who laid down their lives made courageous and selfless decisions to serve their country. They remind us that moral courage is nothing we can compensate. Rewards, we pray, are theirs heaven, for on God's earth they have lost everything they cherished.

Please read the whole thing.