Friday, April 13, 2012

I Will Always Remember…

It is one of those moments that I will always remember… 
People always talk about these moments because they capture our hearts with such shock and sadness that they burn an indelible snapshot of time into our souls.  The end of World War II, the Kennedy assassination, the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon are a few examples that many people will always remember.  They can tell you where they were, and how they felt, with chilling accuracy, when they heard the news.  We share these moments because they affected all of us, and we can all relate to the emotions expressed by others.  They united us because of their global impact.
Then there are very personal and private moments we each hold quietly in our memories; the death of a family member or pet, the moment of birth of our children, a marriage proposal, getting our driver’s license.  These moments bond us together in a different way.  We each experienced these moments at some point in our lives, but in our own personal space, in our own personal time.  They are similar stories with similar emotions, but vastly different details, locations, and characters.
Then there are the events in between global and private.  The concentric circles of impact reaching levels of notice globally, levels of sadness regionally, and levels of grief and devastation at the personal level.  I am referencing the tragic assassination of Kyle D. Pagerly.  Kyle was gunned down by a cowardly fugitive whose blatant disregard for human life took from our world, an amazing young man.
It is one of those moments that I will always remember… 
I took the phone call from my department chief that evening with no expectation of the news that would buckle my knees and temporarily drain my face of its blood supply.  This was followed by a wave of changing emotions that overlapped so frequently I lost track of my senses.  I was in denial.  I was in shock.  I was angry.  I was sick to my stomach.  That news derailed my understanding of mankind, and I suspect I will be forever changed by Kyle’s sudden passing. 
Though I was 20 years his senior, I watched Kyle live like few others ever dared.  I admired his energy, his up-beat, can-do attitude.  I watched him grow as a determined fire lieutenant, a loving young husband, a proud patriot, a dedicated public servant, and a friend.  He would have been an amazing father to Savannah Kylie, his daughter that he will never get to hold in his arms.  It doesn’t seem fair that a man with so much love of life was taken from us at such a young age.  The loss of Kyle will sadly be one of those moments we all will remember, but most importantly, his LIFE will be something that will be remembered as well.  Despite his age, and even without his knowledge, Kyle taught me many things about life.  I never had the opportunity to tell him, and I will always regret that.  Perhaps I didn’t realize just how much he taught us all until after he left.  Now, almost 10 months after his tragic death, I still hear his voice, picture his smile, and mourn the fact that he is gone.
I was proud to be on the fringes of his life.  I can only imagine the sadness felt by those even closer to him.  His loving wife, Alecia, is an amazing woman.  I am awed by the strength she shows as she fights through the tears of life without Kyle, always standing proud at the events honoring Kyle’s life. 
Thank you Kyle, for all you have given to your family, friends, associates, co-workers, and comrades. 
Loved my many, forgotten by none!

Please honor Kyle, by rewarding his K-9 partner, Jynx with the honor he earned as well.  Jynx’s actions saved many lives that warm summer evening.  Vote every day at THIS LINK .  Thanks.