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Illinois Republican Andy Martin Asks Chicago Cardinal for Special Memorial Service to Honor Italian Soldiers Killed in Iraq.

CHICAGO, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois Republican U.S. Senate candidate Andy Martin has asked His Eminence Cardinal Francis George to schedule and conduct a special memorial service for the 19 Italian soldiers killed in Iraq. Martin has Italian ancestors.

In a letter to the Cardinal, Martin suggested that the soldiers had died for the causes of peace and freedom and that Chicago's large and influential Italian community would appreciate the opportunity to specially honor these brave men.

Martin is the grandson of Lady Stella Trigona, of Valetta, Malta. Her father was a baron of Italian origins. The Trigona family's links to Palermo, Sicily go back centuries and the Trigona family is one of Italy's most ancient noble bloodlines.

"While Granny Stella was alive, we used the Trigona name as part of a double-barreled last name," Martin noted. "But after she died my father decided to simplify the name into my paternal grandfather's, Robert Martin. It's less of a mouthful.

"Nevertheless, I am intensely proud of my Italian ancestors and the Italian-American community. Like most Americans my bloodlines have become mixed: my paternal grandfather and grandmother were English and British/Maltese/Italian, and my maternal grandparents were Greek. I speak Greek, not Italian. I honor and cherish them all. I think we pretty much cover the Mediterranean.

"I am hopeful the Cardinal will make a special effort to designate a church and priest in the Chicago Archdiocese to specially honor Italy's war dead in the current conflict. Reasonable people can differ, and we do, over what our policies should be in the Middle East. But we must honor all the dead, those who died in the service of peace, and those who were innocent victims of war, American, Iraqi and Italian," Martin said.

CONTACT: Andy Martin campaign headquarters, +1-312-245-7071

Web site: http://www.andymartin.com/
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Date:Nov 18, 2003
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