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I donít like to begin a task that I fear will end in failure. I will begin anyway and try to speak about one we all love, Aaron Sims, knowing these words cannot possibly provide an adequate memorial.
I would like to thank Aaronís family for allowing me this opportunity.
Many of us have had many wonderful times with Aaron, learning together, playing together, growing up together. Iím sure most of us could fill volumes recounting conversations and events that illustrate the wonderful character of Aaron. I would like to focus on the foundation of my friendship with Aaron, which was based on his sense of honor, and his integrity. To illustrate Aaronís integrity I would like to share a memory and an analogy.
Aaron and I were both enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp our freshman year in high school. Our instructor, Commander James R. Stevens, possessed the ability to strip away pretenses that teenagers often develop. With this veneer peeled back, we became more transparent to one another. We were rehearsing for the color guard when I first began to notice the integrity Aaron possessed. We were two hyperactive, easily distractible kids, yet Aaron had a solemn focus as we learned to present our national, state, and Christian flag. I was impressed by Aaronís commitment to his principles. From that day Aaron not only had my companionship, but also my admiration.
The color guard has always served a vital role in world history. In Americaís War Between the States, a standard bearer, who was a soldier of the highest caliber and who had trained rigorously for his duty, carried the regimentís colors. Aaronís life is analogous to the life of the standard bearer.
The colors were held high above the din of combat. Men rallied to the standard bearer and were often inspired to do more than they could have alone. Battles were won by the brave efforts of the noble men who bore the colors. The lives of the standard bearers were often tragically short. But, the echoes of their lives endured long after the battle had ended.
Aaron held a standard high above the din of everyday life, a standard we can all follow. Aaron was a man of the highest caliber. He was also prepared for each role he served during his life and at the end of his life. As a young man Aaron had prepared for the end at which we all must arrive. He was a man of faith, who understood doctrine, and understood that none of us know the length of our days. Aaron inspired me to do more and to become better. I am still drawn to the standard he carried. Though tragically short, Aaronís life still echoes for us all.
Finally, I wish to share a few promises that have brought me comfort. I hope some here may find comfort in these, as well.
Donít let your grief overwhelm you. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Paul reminds us of Godís promise, so that you may not grieve as others do, who have no hope. We have hope, for we know that Aaron waits for us, face to face, with our Lord, in perfect happiness. I will miss Aaron, yet I know that he is in a perfect place and only a short time separates us. Soon we will be reunited with Aaron in a place where there is no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, and no more pain, for the old things will have passed away.(Revelations 21:4)
During this time left to us, we must continue on, picking up the standard and moving forward. I use a short ritual, in an effort to convert my sorrow to love, and ultimately motivation to press on.
Inhale the sweet fragrance of memories.
Exhale love toward those dear ones who are still with us.
Look to the colors that Aaron held high. Look forward to and be prepared for that wonderful reunion with Aaron.
A Prayer in Memory of Aaron
Thank you for Aaron.
Thank you for our time with him.
Thank you for his friends and family here today.
Please send your Holy Spirit to comfort us and to remind us of your promises.
Please bless the memory of Aaron in all our souls.
In Christís precious name,