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View a eulogy for Daren M Hidalgo, USMA '09, who passed away on February 20, 2011.

Daren M Hidalgo

West Point, 2009

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Larry Choate III on February 24, 2011:

To do justice to Daren's legacy in words is impossible, so I wont attempt to do that here. What a lot of us immediately thought of when we heard the news, and what will stay with us forever, was Daren's smile. The smile that made even Buckner feel like Disneyland. I was fortunate enough to meet Daren right at the beginning of my cadet career. We were both assigned to Ghost Platoon for Beast and I can assuredly say that he made it bearable. When I was neck deep in self-pity and questioning why I had come to West Point in the first place, Daren was doing the same physical and mental tasks that I was but he was doing them with that smile. That smile- I didn't know if I should hate him for it or if I should embrace the contagious nature of his smile and his outlook. I stopped fighting it and allowed him to take control of my half-full glass and before I knew it I was laughing with him. The sarcastic tone he used to say 'hooah' when none of us really wanted to say it will stay with me forever.
Trying to make sense of why heaven would take one of earth's few angels will never yield a truly satisfactory answer. But what myself and a few of our other classmates have decided to do is to honor Daren the best way we know how- with a smile when perhaps a smile isn't your first reaction to a bad hand dealt. We'll always miss you buddy and we'll never forget what you did to make all our lives more pleasant and the ultimate sacrifice you made to protect our way of life. God bless you Daren. Be thou at peace.

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