Ralph John Harting
West Point, 1998
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Sean Protas on June 22, 2005:
I found a quote that I think truly embodies Capt. Harting. From the person I knew in high school to the one portrayed by all the eulogies posted by former classmates, fellow soldiers and his family. He was truly a great man as both a soldier and a father and those are two very different fields but he seemed to have accomplished both at a very young age, so much in such a short period.
"By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder -- infinitely prouder -- to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, ''Our Father Who Art in Heaven.''
- General Douglas McArthur
Also, I think we should all take stock of our lives in the face of such a gallant sacrifice. In the wake of Capt Harting's passing, I have come to the realization that in order to truly honor such a man, we need to live our lives to the fullest extent everyday and never again take for granted the freedoms that we enjoy. To put it simply we must vow the following: "Live everyday to its fullest and cherish our freedoms because brave men such as Capt. Harting gave theirs so that we may do so."
As the Army soldier creed puts it best : "I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier."
To Jay: Thank you being the soldier that you were and for the father that you were for a short period. You will always be in the hearts and minds of everyone who came in contact with you.
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