Saying goodbye to one of our own |

Saying goodbye to one of our own

Eagle County has lost one of its own.

Like so many other towns and cities big and small across the U.S., we join the community of parents, relatives, friends and even strangers who mourn the loss of young men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lance Cpl. Evenor Herrera was only 22, having lived about half his life in Eagle County after his family moved here from Honduras. It’s not an unusual story: Many young men and women from immigrant families join the armed forces for many reasons. In the case of Herrera, family members say he was incredibly proud to serve his adopted country as a U.S. Marine. Being a soldier no doubt enhanced his sense of place, pride and country; indeed, he may have felt it deeper than many of us born here.

As the family goes through the painful task of burying Evenor Herrera today, now is not the time to question the politics and policies that put this young Eagle Valley High graduate in the path of a roadside bomb in such an unlikely location: some place called Ar Ramadi. Having seen and talked to some of the family this week, we’ve seen only the pain that comes from the realization that a son is gone, never to return.

For a parent, nothing in life can ever be so painful. Somewhere in Iraq, another person ” possibly a young man Evenor’s age ” placed the weapon that killed him, inextricably linking the two lives together. That person no doubt gave little thought to the pain he was causing, the lives he would shatter, the aftermath of his action. And for those Evenor Herrera leaves behind, it’s probably best not to even think about it.

Some things simply cannot be explained by logic, reason or even emotion. We can only hope that, in Evenor Herrera’s death, some meaning emerges, somewhere, at some time. It’s hard to see now, in the deaths of more than 1,800 troops since the war began, where this is all leading.

But as the melancholy notes of “Taps” sound over Sunset View Cemetery today, we can only say that we stand behind the family of Evenor Herrera as Americans, as neighbors, as a community that feels the pain even if we cannot comprehend it on the same level.

We’ll remember your sacrifice, Lance Cpl. Evenor Herrera. May you rest in peace.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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