HM3 Brian Lundy served with Charlie Company 1st Battalion 6th Marines. He was killed in action recently defending his brothers in arms. What follows are the remarks I wrote and spoke at his memorial, my first memorial in this place. I pray it will be my last.
I am reminded today of the decisions we make each day; The choices that affect not only our own lives but the lives of those around us. We gather to honor a young man whose decisions and life will forever be etched across our lives into our very souls. A warrior who through his life touched ours. If I knew nothing else about Brian I would know this:
He was a man of convictions; Deep seated in his very nature;
A man who was committed to something more, something greater then himself. Something higher, Something eternal.
Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes that God has put eternity in the heart of man; that we believe in the very core of our being that we are destined for something far more than the simple moments that make up our parts. Our lives are the sum of those moments. The decision we make, the actions we take slowly over the course of our lives reveal the legacy of who we are. Individually the moments of our lives can bring us excitement, pleasure, but also fear and frustration. As pieces of a great puzzle they remain unknowable unsearchable. When we consider them a part from one another they force us to ask perhaps the greatest question on all –Why?
But together the moments, the actions, each decision starts to reveal who we are and what we believe. We order our lives, and our moments according to the commitments laid on our hearts. We sacrifice, we serve, we fight and we strive for something more than the simple moments of our lives. I know this, believe this and affirm this because in each of you there is this same nature of commitment to something more. Our country calls this patriotism – That we would willingly place our lives on the line for others. I believe it goes deeper – further still then simple patriotism I believe it is an ideology that few in this day and age have but one that a people so desperately need.
It is a call to serve something greater than the here and now. I am not so naïve to believe that everyone within the sound of my voice is here simply to live and die for country, but I do believe that before me stand men who know the measure of commitment, and the sacrifices needed to see that commitment through. I don’t know what brought each of you here to this place or even why you find yourself on foreign soil in the midst of war against the darkness of men’s heart. But I do know this about each of you; you are men committed to something more than yourselves.
You have placed your lives in service to nation, in service to one another for a greater good. Perhaps it is your greater good; Perhaps it is the good of another, a spouse, a child, a parent.
Regardless you have commited to do what few men dare, to give your here an now for the dreams laid on your spirit by the dictates of your heart. You live for such things as these, these principled dreams and hopes. You would give it all for a commitment to something more something greater. Ours is a generation plagued with complacency, we strive for nothing, and amount to little, but here today we honor the spirit of the warrior. We honor one who shows us that it is not enough simply to die for something. All men can find within them the ability to die for something. What we saw in Brian I see in the faces before me – individuals willing to live for something.
To give everything; to give the very breath within you to rise above simple survival.
To refuse to settle for simple moments.
To strive in the face of adversity.
Brian showed us that there are not only things worth dying for, but there are things worth living for. He stepped into the gap everyday because of a commitment not only to his nation but to himself. I would ask that you honor our fallen brother in reflecting on this question.
What are you living for? We cannot afford to be a people simply surviving day to day. Life is too fragile for such folly. We must rise to more, to stand committed with honor and courage, willing to lay it all on the line for what matters most to each of us.
A life spent in pursuit of nothing truly is a life wasted.
A life spent in pursuit of dreams is a life that stands as a beacon on a hill; a masterpiece inspiring those who fall within the light of its influence :
To expect more,
To be more,
To give more,
Hospital Corpsman Brian Lundy’s masterpiece will forever be the beacon on a hill.