Saturday, January 20, 2007

Harvard Memorial Service

On Sunday, January 14th, a third memorial service was held for Jamin Buchanan Wilson in Cambridge, MA. It took place thanks to the wonderful friendship of Jessie Bryan and Ryan Browne, and their desire to bring together J.B.'s friends from the college years of his life. The service was held at the beautiful Memorial Church, on the Harvard campus. Memorial Church was built following WWI, to honor those from Harvard who had paid the ultimate price for our freedom, with each of those names engraved in the building itself.

It was on the outside steps of this church that just two and a half years ago, Jamin stood grinning, accepting his commission as an officer in the USAF, alongside his dear friends from ROTC Detachment 365. It was a beautiful sunny, spring day, full of happiness and pride. The ceremony was so uplifting, with wonderful music played by the Marine Band. The inspiring speakers included the Secretary of the Air Force and other dignitaries. How proud we all were of the men and women on those steps! And the following day as well, when all who were "Harvard" gathered in that same place to celebrate the graduation of the class of '04. What great occasions these were!

And now, such a short time later, we were back for a different purpose. It had been exactly one month since Jamin's life had ended so suddenly. The January weather in Boston was cold and rainy. But other aspects of the service remained on par with those sunny June days in '04. The pride was still there. Not just pride in Jamin, but also in the fifty-plus young people who gathered to remember him. Their friendships were still strong, their lives on track to make a difference. The music was again beautiful... this time Bach, wonderfully played on the pipe organ. The speakers were inspiring and uplifting. Friends and family recalled J.B.'s zest for life. Then Rev. Mark Edington reminded us of Jesus' own words, "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John 10:10), and how knowing Jesus Christ had both allowed J.B. to enjoy that abundant life, and had enabled him to make the lives of those around him more exciting as well.

Our family would like to thank Housemasters of Adams House, Dr.'s Sean and Judith Palfrey, for the warm welcome and lovely accommodations, and Rev. Mark Edington, organist Edward Jones, and sexton Richard Campbell for making it possible to have the use of Memorial Church. We also thank Jessie Bryan, Ryan Browne, and all the friends who traveled from near and far to help us remember Jamin. In his own words, "they are the best friends a guy could ever ask for".

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