Queens Street Renamed For Local Soldier
On Saturday, December 13 hundreds of Queens residents joined the family of fallen United States Marine Corporal Julian Alberto Ramon, City Councilmember John Liu and a USMC Honor Guard to witness the renaming of 45th Avenue at Kissena Boulevard as Corporal Julian Alberto Ramon Avenue.
Ramon grew up in an apartment on 45th Avenue and Kissena Boulevard. He attended local schools and graduated from John Bowne H.S. According to friends and neighbors Ramon, described as a good kid and a great friend, joined the Marine Corps to defend the nation against foreign terror. When his tour of duty was completed he returned to continue fighting for this country. It was during his second tour of duty that Ramon was killed on July 20, 2006 at age 22. He is survived by his parents, Yolanda and Luis, and his two younger brothers, Juan David and Sebastian. "This will be the happiest Christmas for my mother since Julian died," Juan Ramon said. "But the holidays won't ever be the same for me."
Sebastian Ramon said of the street renaming ceremony in his brother's memory: "He would be shocked today. He would not believe this would be happening. He would also be happy to see that all these people came out to support him, to show how much they care about him. He cared for us. He always looked out for us. We always got into play fights when we were younger, but we loved each other very much."
City Councilmember John Liu spearheaded the effort to rename 45th Avenue in Julian's memory. "I want to thank Community Board 7 in Flushing for initiating the action at the local level. I want to thank the [city] Department of Transportation for doing the work making this possible. I want to thank my colleagues in the New York City Council for passing the legislation that renames 45th Avenue Corporal Julian Alberto Ramon Avenue in memory of this American hero and our son of Flushing," he said. A commemorative street sign atop the post at the intersection of 45th Avenue and Kissena Boulevard was then unveiled. Liu, with Assemblymember Ellen Young at his side, instructed his legislative director, Elizabeth Monterosa, to present the family with a replica of the sign.
Dorothy Oxendine, a past president of the Gold Star Mothers Club, said at the dedication ceremony: "Julian, like so many young men and women answered the call when we needed them. This street sign in honor of Julian serves to remind Americans of the price of freedom." The Gold Star Mothers Club was formed in the United States shortly after World War I to provide support for mothers who had lost sons or daughters in that war. Families of servicemen hung a banner called a Service Flag with a star for each family member in the military in a window of their homes. Living servicemen were represented by a blue star, those who had lost their lives by a gold star. Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. Ramon's mother has become a member.