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2/5/07

Dick Alger's Eulogy Delivered By His Son Sean


Dad’s Eulogy
February 1, 2007


“Rest easy, sleep well my brother. Know the line was held, your job is
done. Rest easy, sleep well."

These words are inscribed at one of the gates at Arlington National Cemetery. Know that my dad did hold the line and his job is done.

As, I come before you today as a representative of a grieving and saddened family, I find myself in an interesting quandary. One that suggests I mourn and yet it suggests I celebrate. My father would have wanted today to be a celebration. A day where we can look back and acknowledge the life of a man who did it his way and strived to do it the right way. I am so very, very proud to be his son.

And what a group of people I have to celebrate with! You have touched our family’s collective heart. Thank you for your generosity, kindness, thoughts and prayers and especially the laughs.

To my father’s classmates from the Naval Academy and his comrades in war, thank you for being there with my father in school, in war and in death. Thank you for watching his back and returning him home safely. Your love and dedication to my father is humbling. He loved each of you and he would have done anything for you.

Most of you remember my dad as a marine. It’s a fantastic memory, but here is what I want you to remember of my dad.

I want you to remember:

My dad was a Marine. Not just an ordinary Marine, but a “Marine’s Marine”. A man who believed deeply in Semper Fidelis, “Always Faithful” – He was honored to be a Marine and honored to serve a country that he would have gladly given his life.
My dad was humble. He used to tell a lot of stories about others from his sports days, the Academy and the Marine Corps, but he rarely, if ever, told a story that was centered on himself.
My dad was a dependable fighter. One you would want looking out for your life.
My dad was proud, tough, honorable, and dedicated.
My dad was MY HERO.
My dad was MY FRIEND.

I want you to remember:

My dad was a man who lived his life with pride and purpose.
My dad spoke well in public, and more importantly, he always told it like it was.
My dad was funny and was comfortable with laughing at himself. On his visit to the hospital for his retirement physical the doctors had noticed he still had shrapnel in his leg from a grenade that exploded near him in Viet Nam. The doctor told my father that they wanted to remove the shrapnel and make certain they put him back in the same condition as when he joined the service. My father said to the doctor, “When I entered the service, I had hair. When you can give that back to me, I will give you the shrapnel.”
My dad was a good athlete.
My dad was a spectacular supportive fan.
My dad was MY HERO.
My dad was MY FRIEND.

I want you to remember:

My dad was a man who was not only dedicated to his country, but he was dedicated to my mom and to our family.
My dad was always there, always faithful to being a good father and husband.
My dad was by our side during the tough times, especially those times when I did the wrong thing. He told me I was wrong, punished me, and then stood by my side to guide me on the right path. He was there for me even when I didn’t deserve his love and respect.
My dad was always volunteering his time. Whether it was with Little League baseball, football, grade school, high school, booster clubs or the church, my father was always willing to donate his time to serve others and to help the community.
My dad taught me about courageousness, loyalty, patriotism, dignity, humility, sacrifice, and giving.
My dad was MY HERO.
My dad was MY FRIEND

In the end my father even taught me how to say good-bye. Over the years we spoke many times on the phone. Our conversations always ended in the same manner. I would say good-bye and he would say “OK babe”. It drove me crazy that he would never say good-bye. I often would comment to Joanne how just once I wanted my dad to say good-bye to me. The last time I spoke to my father, I was leaving the hospital for the evening. I said, “I am going to leave now dad, you really need to get some rest.” And he said, “Maybe I will see you tomorrow”. I shook my head walking out of his room. Still no “good-bye”. I never spoke to him again. In a way, it was perfect. You see…I have faith that there will be a tomorrow and in due time, I will see him again.

Semper Fi Marine.
Semper Fi Dad.
Know the line was held and your job is done. Rest easy, sleep well and I WILL see you tomorrow.

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