Today was the memorial service for the young Army Captain that lost his life last week. I expected a good turn-out, but when I drove up, the parking lot was full. I was a little surprised. Although I was surprised, I was happy because it instantly told me that people cared about this young man. Even though there hasn’t been any news stories about this tragic accident, the people were there to show their love and support.
It was a beautiful service. The Colonel spoke and even though I was never fond of him, he gave and amazing speech. It was very touching and heartfelt. He said many things I think many of us were feeling. Another officer spoke about cycling with the Captain. How much he’d grown and loved sports. Then, another officer spoke….someone who’d been good friends with the Captain. He spoke about how much they disliked each other when they first met during their officer training. He called the Captain “pretty boy”. He had some touching things to say, but also some very funny things. There was so many words said along with some beautiful verses and a movie presentation called “The Final Lap” in tribute since he was a cyclist and a runner. There was also a weapons salute along with “Taps” being played. Oh that sound of the lone bugle….
To sit there and glance around and know that he touched our lives for such a short time made me think. I’ll never forget how respectful he was to my hubby. I’ll never forget the words that he said to us in our very last military “event”. The chaplain referred to the Captain as a “capital R”, while many of us are just a “little r”. He said this because the Captain put everything he had into everything that he did. He truly cared. And, that’s what I remember about the few times that I had a chance to know him. It’s too bad we knew him at the end of our career, yet it’s fitting.
He not only touched our lives, but many. Even men in uniform were crying at this loss. We’ll never know why God needed him now. We’ll never know why he was taken so young. What we do know is that he’ll go on for a very long time. Not just in memories, but in other ways. He was an organ donor and there’s a 50 year old man that now has his heart. There’s someone else that got his pancreas and someone that got his kidneys. There’s are “parts” of him that were given as well. That alone speaks of the man he was.
On a final note, I’d like to just remind everyone of something. It’s something that was stated a few times during the memorial service. It’s something that the Captain wanted everyone to remember. That thought is….
Life should be celebrated, not mourned at the loss of it.