The Luna Moth Project has been designed in honor and memory of SSgt James (Jimmy) Michael Malachowski, United States Marine Corps. Staff Sergeant James M. Malachowski, 25, was killed in action in Marjah Afghanistan on Sunday, March 20, 2011, by an Improvised Exploding Device. Raised in Hampstead, Maryland, he was a 2003 graduate of North Carroll High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. He served overseas in Iraq with 2nd Battalion 2nd Marines in 2004, 2005 and 2007. He was currently serving his 4th combat deployment as an infantryman. Jimmy was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant on April 2, 2010 and concurrently earned the Distinguished Shooting Badge, which he earned in 13 months. He also earned numerous other marksmanship awards. He graduated from the Advanced Infantry Unit Leader's Course before he deployed to Afghanistan. Some of his most distinguished accomplishments were that he earned a position on the Marine Corps Rifle Team and instructed over 50,000 recruits on the fundamentals of marksmanship at Marine Corps Depot, Parris Island. Jimmy enjoyed weight lifting, running, firearms, woodworking, and his Gran Torino. Arlington Cemetery Registry
"On November 6, 2016 as my wife, Hannah, and I met with Jimmy's parents, Alison and Jim, for their permission and blessing to pursue this project concept, many memories of his passion, leadership and core values reemerged. Jimmy had a great interest and love of insects and participated in many programs and camps at Bear Branch Nature Center and Hashawha Environmental Center. He even collected and displayed his own insect collection at the nature center. He won the Grand Prize in Entomology at the Maryland State Fair at age nine for this collection. The one specimen he prized, once he finally caught one, was the luna moth. This memory of the luna moth, and his excitement, has stuck with me ever since. He had an energy that captivated everyone. Little did we know what a leader he would become." - Ted McNett
The primary element of the Luna Moth Project is a collaborative memorial sculpture created by members of the Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland, measuring 36 inches from tip to tail and standing almost 5 feet above the ground. The memorial sculpture was installed and dedicated at Bear Branch Nature Center in Westminster, MD on March , 2019 at a location where Jimmy helped lead an insect observation and collection night program. Accompanying elements of this project will be life-size luna moths, 4½ inches, to be included in a second memorial sculpture. Making your own Luna Moth with the template is encouraged in memory of a veteran in or from your life. To participate or support this project contact Ted McNett, email@example.com. The Luna Moth project is intended for personal memoriam and it not to be used for financial gain.
The symbolism behind the luna moth is strikingly appropriate for this memorial. What is the spiritual meaning of luna moths? Luna moths represent rebirth, renewal of body and spirit, regeneration and may even symbolize the soul itself. Luna moths, like many types of moths and butterflies, are quite beautiful in appearance and have docile personalities. Their physical beauty and charm make these large moths symbols of reflection, nourishment and life. Reference
High school seniors, Tad Didio and Nate Martin, in the Project Lead the Way Engineering program at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center created a 3D model and file to allow the Luna Moth to be reproduced using a 3D printer. If you have a 3D printer or access to one you are encouraged to use this 3D STL File to print one in honor of a fallen veteran.