John's father, Robert, wrote and spoke these words at the Rolling Thunder Candlelight Vigil. John's mother, Kate, served as editor:
APRIL 21, 2012
Memories are what each of us keep in mind for our future actions and thoughts. Our memory keeps us from repeating unfavorable actions and directs us toward favorable actions.
Tonight we call upon those memories to honor the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan. All families suffer losses of loved ones. Some of us present tonight have suffered the loss of a soldier killed in action. We honor the loss of our soldier by bringing our memory of the soldier into focus and remembering the characteristics and traits that soldier personified. We are called upon both to remember and continue to uphold the traditions each soldier uniquely presented. Our actions tonight and in the future will be a reflection of our lost soldier.
This vigil allows all of us to reflect on soldiers killed or wounded in action. We are presented with the opportunity to recall each soldier and the opportunities that cannot be taken because of our loss. We cannot create what may have been, but we can allow ourselves to visualize what we hoped could have happened. The dreamer in each of us can focus on the best we wished could have happened and try our best to live out that dream.
We cannot change the past, but we can influence the future. Ours is a daunting task but it is our hope for the future. Please let the good thoughts carry us forward and remember our fallen warriors with dignity and grace.
God bless all of you, our county and the warriors that have protected us since the beginning of our country.