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Lisa Martin's Statement - 04/27/98

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Boston, Mass

April 27, 1998

Statement of Lisa Martin

My father has always been my best friend, my mentor and my guide through life - I wish you all to know he continues to be these things to me. He is a man whom I love, respect and admire - who has supported me in every way imaginable. He has raised my sister and I with the highest ideals not only instilling in us the knowledge and belief that we can achieve anything but also conveying the importance of giving back to others as much as possible. With him as a role model I learned that involvement in the community, service to others and outside activities are as important as academics - and that in order to succeed one must be a well rounded person.

I believe that my father gave up his life for the sole purpose of protecting my sister Rachael and I. He gave us lives that let us achieve our potential and then to even exceed it in everything from academics to sports to community service. He was always there to take us wherever we needed to go - at whatever time - without complaint - asking only that we do our best.

At the age of 10 I started swimming twice a day, which involved getting up at 3:50 am - going to practice - to school - back to practice and either running or biking after night practice. It was my father who woke me - drove me - and waited for me during practice. He took me everywhere and supported me through the ups and downs of my athletic and academic careers. Through his unselfish care and concern - he was able to give us 100% every day.

He was involved in many areas of my life including friendships, academic work and service activities. Anytime I needed help with anything or had a particular problem my father was the first one there to see me through it. He was the only parent I knew, from grade school through high school who was involved so thoroughly in his lives. This became even clearer to me when I went away to college. Most of my friends talk to their parents anywhere from once a week to once a month with an occasional visit if they lived close. I talk to my father and sister religiously every day, about the ins and outs of what has gone on. Most of my friends are envious of the relationship my family has and the fact that I consider my dad and sister as my best friends. Whenever my dad is in town he invites my friends with us and cares for them as if they were his own. My friends love him - they feel at ease with him and he can get them to open up to him. They value his opinions and judgements and his interest in theirs. In fact, some of my friends have called on him for advice before talking to their own parents.

My father has made a great impact on my life and has consistently given of himself to so many. People keep talking about his attending various social functions in his community; what they don’t realize is that his purpose is still to give back to others. These functions are to benefit those less fortunate, such as veterans and underprivileged children and he does this not just with money - but with the devotion and commitment of hands on time and energy. He is a warm - caring and compassionate man.

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