Posts Tagged ‘honor’

LAST CALL FOR A BROTHER, A FRIEND, A MENTOR, A LEGEND

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service.  I acted and behold! Service was joy!” – Rabindranath Tagore

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 We buried a brother yesterday and it was a hard day, indeed.  A great man, Captain Gerry Spina, passed away at his home last week.  And while it is so very difficult to say goodbye to a friend, a loved one, a brother, a mentor… there is so much more than grief and anguish in our hearts today.  As we continue to express our deepest sympathy to those closest to Gerry — his wife, his children, his grandchildren — collectively, we feel pride, respect, joy, and gratitude in knowing that Gerry did his best for his family, his community, his students, and his patients.

Gerry Spina dedicated his life to service.  A former Navy man, Gerry was a trauma RN, a flight nurse, a firefighter, a paramedic, and a consultant in infusion therapy.  Additionally, he had served as a paramedic instructor, fire instructor, and as an instructor in phlebotomy for Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  For the last several years, Gerry was a Captain in charge of training for the Bark River Fire and EMS Training Consortium — serving as an EMS refresher trainer for the Lisbon Fire Department and the Hartland Fire Department, where it has been my good fortune to have been mentored by him.  While in this position, he continued to serve as a firefighter/paramedic for the Lisbon Fire Department.

 A man with the passion and talents that Captain Spina possessed will be missed by more than just those who knew him by name and face.  The effort that a man like Gerry puts into those he mentors is carried far and away and is utilized by those he has taught on a daily basis.  Lives have been saved — and will continue to be saved — because of Gerry Spina’s commitment and appetite for excellence in his work.

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Gerry Spina

So it is with heavy hearts and misty eyes that we re-dedicate ourselves to the job, holding Gerry as the example of courage, dignity, merit, and duty.  As such, he is the ultimate precedent.

Goodbye, Gerry.  Thank you.  Few have done more for others… fewer have been so loved.  *RESPECT*

God be with you.

“This is the last call for Gerry Spina, Captain, 2600.  May he rest in peace.”

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        Honor and Empathy in Triumph and Humiliation

There is nothing left for me to do but to go and see General Grant… and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” – Gen Robert E Lee, Appomattox Court House, VA – April 9, 1865

On they come, with the old swinging route step and swaying battle flags. In the van, the proud Confederate ensign. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood; men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond; was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?” – Maj Gen Joshua L Chamberlain, after receiving the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

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   Chamberlain

Chamberlain was clearly moved during the surrender ceremony, causing him to order his men to give the marching salute as the Rebels marched past. Confederate Major General John B Gordon was momentarily stunned, then he and his mount pivoted to face General Chamberlain. Removing his hat,  the General and his horse bowed, as one, before Gordon ordered his men to return the salute. This moment marked the beginning of the healing of our nation, and it is my favorite tidbit from all that is our Civil War. Revolutions, failed or not, do not normally end this way. It ranks as one of the most beautiful moments in our history.

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         Gordon