Monday, July 16, 2007

Rest In Peace, Lt. Mark H. Dooley

On Friday July 13, 2007, I was privileged to attend the full military interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery of Army Lt. Mark H. Dooley, who was killed in Iraq on September 19, 2005. Mark would have celebrated his 29th birthday on Sunday.

I was invited to this solemn event by his parents, Marion and Peter Dooley. I met Marion Dooley at a school violence prevention presentation for the Wallkill School District in New York on November 22, 2006. Because I honor American Military personnel at each of my presentations, Marion shared with me the story of her military sons.

The ceremony was profoundly inspirational thanks to the devotion and presence of his parents, his brother Charlie – who also serves in the U.S. Army – and the many family members, friends, educators and military personnel (including the honor guard) who came to honor Mark Dooley and remember him as a man of commitment, courage and patriotism.

After the interment ceremony in section 60, where Mark joins many other heroes from Operation Iraqi Freedom, I visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to witness the changing of the guard. This deeply moving ceremony represents the dignity, honor and respect due to all who have given their lives serving their country.

Although I will be writing a comprehensive article in September to capture the emotions of this event as well as testimonies from his family and friends, I wanted to post these brief thoughts and photos for your reflection that they may inspire eternal gratitude for Mark Dooley and the many Americans who have given the ultimate sacrifice.


Sacred Honor: Police Officer, Soldier, Patriot Click here to visit site

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