I found out last night that one of the kids in the year below me, Will Sigua, was killed in a firefight in Iraq this past week. I didn't know him well, but I remember his face and presence. Most of all, I recall the life in him. Perhaps that's the most wrenching part - that that hopeful, laughing, spark of life is gone. He was 21.
In truth, his death does not affect me in the way I live my day-to-day life. But up until now, the soldiers killed in Iraq have very much been only faces. His death, for the rest of the nation, is another number, another mug shot. For me, he was a part of what I knew for three years at LAHS.
Of course I know the conviction of people who believe in their cause, who face peril bravely and do their best to see the ways that they are making a difference. And yes, they are, but we as a country also could have made a difference - one to Will and to his family by not asking him to go in the first place. Of course his choice was just that, his own, and it is not diminished by the circumstances of the war. But do we not also hold some responsibility for his death?
Regardless, my heart turns again and again to his family, if only as an anonymous source of support and sympathy. This thought will not soon leave me. And even if only in this small way, for I was smaller to him than he has now become to me, I would like to remember him.
Rest in Peace