As I'm supposed to be writing a paper for class right now, at 5:54 A.M., I'm instead thinking about something fairly sad that happened this weekend - the first person from my graduating class of 2007 died. He was killed by an IED in Afghanistan, during a night mission on Friday.
I was home from college for Memorial Day weekend, and got a call from one of my best friends telling me what happened, and how Facebook had exploded.
Now I didn't talk to this guy since maybe elementary or middle school (we were kind of in entirely different crowds). I remember him as a hilarious guy who used to get sent out in the hallway for cracking too many jokes.
Unfortunately, there were a few people who didn't think very highly of him - he had a reputation in high school as being the poster child for jocks - ice hockey, football, and lacrosse. But from what I gathered from lots of discussions/reading, the guy was really chill, pretty friendly, a funny guy, and was a good friend. Not to mention - he was a human being. I genuinely wish I had known him better.
We had a candlelight vigil for him on Sunday night at our high school's football field, and man, it was weird to see so many people I hadn't seen in 3-4 years. Unfortunate circumstances for a reunion, really. It was a strong showing, and it was a bit disconcerting to see so many "macho" former jocks crying.
But this has just, y'know, put some perspective on life a bit. Guy was 22 years old. His last Facebook status was something about him hating sandstorms and wanting to go back home - he had plans to return in July to visit friends/family, and his sister's birthday was coming up. He and his best friend had also traded wall posts, and his last one mentioned how he missed his friend and how he was scared out there in Afghanistan, and couldn't wait to get back.
Also, as I stated before, this weekend was Memorial Day (Monday) weekend, which makes it all the more disconcerting.
That's some serious tragedy, and it managed to make everyone I talked to reflect on their prior opinions of the guy and their general attitude towards...life, I guess. A lot of us just didn't know what to think. Here's the article about the guy, if any are interested (the article is incorrect in calling it a landmine - that was the initial rumor, the DoD clarified in a press release):
Anything like this/first deaths in the high school class happen to any of you, resulting in all kinds of introspection?