Today marks the 10th anniversary of the death of U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew J. Sandri, who was killed in action on March 20, 2004, in a rocket attack near Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A 1997 graduate of Shamokin Area High School, Sgt. Sandri was the son of Bob and Annette Sandri of Shamokin. He was a combat medic serving with the 82nd Airborne Division.

While the anniversary is a sad occasion indeed for the Sandri family and the greater Shamokin community, the reaction to Sgt. Sandri's death has resulted in a number of positive, inspirational actions, projects and tributes over the past 10 years. The News-Item looks forward to detailing these circumstances in a special report coming soon.

For today, we pause to recognize his ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country.