Semper Fi, Corporal

I missed the announcement of the death of Cpl. Conner T. Lowry on 01 March 2012.  I found out after a friend posted to Facebook that she had just driven by his house.  I then saw a number of comments indicating people were lining up on streets in my old neighborhood in Chicago, waiting for the hearse to drive by.  Intrigued, I searched for more on the internet, starting with the official DoD announcement (linked in the title of this blog post).  I found quite a few people tweeting about him (https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/conner%20lowry).  As I read some of the linked articles, it really struck home.  I have been thinking about this all day.

They took him from Midway Airport (I almost always fly into Chicago via Midway).

They took him to Brother Rice High School, his alma mater and mine (class of '89 for me).  They played Taps for him there.

They took him to Saint John Fisher Parish on 102nd and Washtenaw, which is only a mile from the first house I lived in (behind Steuber's florist shop).

He was South Side Irish (to know us is to love/hate us).

He died in Helmand, Afghanistan.  I was there twice working with Marines and the ANA in 2011.  The husband of a good friend was in one of the most violent corners of Helmand last year, as was the brother of one of my comrades from the war.

There are so many shared experiences here, yet we never met.

His obituary: http://legacy.suntimes.com/obituaries/chicagosuntimes/obituary.aspx?n=conner-t-lowry&pid=156337797&fhid=2596

Some pictures from the motorcade: http://katieryanphotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/honoring-marine-corporal-conner-lowry.html

The Tribune article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-solemn-procession-for-fallen-marine-20120309,0,2653411.story

A hero left us.  I am sorry I will never get to meet him.  Stand relieved, Marine.  We have the watch now.