Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fields of Gold

At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the funeral mass for NYPD hero Rafael Ramos shall be held at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens.  Officer Ramos, a veteran of three-plus years in the NYPD, shall be honored in the church to which he belonged as a parishioner and in which he volunteered his time as an usher and as part of its marriage ministry and its life group ministry.  Officer Ramos, himself, had been studying to be a lay-chaplain.  Seven days ago, he was only a few hours removed from graduating from a community-crisis chaplaincy program.  It was, of course seven days ago that he and his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, were executed by a murderous coward as the pair sat in their parked and marked patrol vehicle on a Brooklyn corner.   

Police Officer Rafael Ramos, NYPD
End of Watch:  December 20, 2014

At 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, the Eagles of Boston College shall play in the Pinstripe Bowl against the Penn State Nittany Lions.  This annual bowl game is held in the Bronx at the House that Boss George's Money Built.  Welles Remy Crowther did not play football at Boston College.  To my knowledge, during his standout, four-year career as a member of the Eagles' lacrosse team, he never played a single minute on the field at Yankee Stadium.  Yet, this afternoon, as his Alma mater does battle with Penn State, who he was - and more significantly - what he stood for shall be ingrained on the minds and in the hearts of everyone wearing the colors of Boston College.   

It was on a Tuesday morning in September 2001, a date long enough ago that the young men who shall compete for Boston College this afternoon were all younger then than young Jaden Ramos is now, when Welles Remy Crowther forever became "The Man in the Red Bandanna"

Welles Remy Crowther - "Man in the Red Bandanna"
End of Watch:  September 11, 2001

Two men from different generations, being honored in different boroughs under very different sets of circumstances.  Two very different men linked together by one very simple fact:  They lived their lives putting others before themselves.  A common trait inexorably connected by a tragic fate - the taking of each of their lives at the hands of murderous cowards.  

Short lives. 

Eternal legacies.  


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