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Saturday, September 11, 2010:

Good morning. My name is Judith Martinez and I was a classmate of James back when we attended kindergarten
through eighth grade here at Saint Pius X together, back when life seemed much
simpler than days like this
. I am saddened to be standing here before you all today. It is times
such as these that make reuniting with the old and revisiting the past, as well joining with the new, and embracing what is,
bittersweet…

Despite all the memories I am fortunate enough to recall of James, I cannot stand here before you all today and tell you
I knew James. I knew him; but I didn’t KNOW him, I am not among the select
few who were worthy enough to truly know James Shea. I cannot tell you his favorite song, what he dreamt of
each night as he laid in bed, what he feared in life as well as what gave him hope every single day. But despite all the
things I cannot tell you, despite me telling you I can’t tell you who he was…I CAN tell you who he WASN’T
.
James was not a bad kid… James was not unreliable. You could always count on him to be there. He was a loyal friend -
a man of his word. This was the James I knew…”

I had attended grade school with James. Voted class clown by his fellow peers, James was never the type to get
involved with drugs. He was always a kid at heart, naïve yet eager to learn.

James’ death had forced me into an involuntary introspection. With two weeks left of summer, before my life would begin
anew in an enitely different way, I had found before me question upon question with little to no answers. Why had I not gone to
that reunion the other day? Why had I not tried to keep in touch? Why am I so anxious to leave everything behind?
Why did he do it? What made him do it? Maybe if we were friends, I could have somehow prevented this.
Never before had someone I had been so close with pass away.
This had really hit home, just when home was the last place I wanted to be.