I only met Christian one time - at his wedding reception at his parents' home two summers ago. Big guy. Almost quirky, but certainly an attractive personality. I'm not that great with words sometimes and I only met him once, so you will have to trust me in my thoughts here... As I hear about what Katie and her family say about Christian, and as I hear about his funeral and what was said and who attended, I'm left in awe of the man he was.
On a training flight last fall while in Italy, Christian's helicopter went down with 9 others aboard. From the details I've read, he died in the hospital of head injuries.
It's the first time I've admired someone so much from knowing him so little. I don't mean to be trite with this comment, but people say the nicest things about people when they die. But Christian's death was different - and this I could tell from the one time I met him. He had a personality everyone was attracted to. He genuinely cared for people and naturally demanded the attention in whatever room he entered. I won't do him justice... but he's got my thoughts today.
He's survived by his wife, Liz. As I woke up on this Memorial Day, she came to mind very quickly. Patriotism is important to me. Men and women sign up for military service -- Service. And many have to pay the Ultimate Sacrifice. Is there a better way to die? Is there any more honor than dying for your country? Christian would probably say there is, and that would be to die serving your Lord. And Christian did just that. His life was lived in faith, and his death proclaimed that faith. I can't imagine the sorrow of that family, but as a brother I can relate to the pride I have for a man who was so highly regarded by everyone when he left this life. What an example, what an inspiration for any Christian man.
Well done, Christian. We honor you on this Memorial Day.