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GREATNESS - Logan Arielle Johnson 113258 HE 112 5007 Prof...

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Logan Arielle Johnson 113258 HE 112 – 5007 Prof. Fleming 28JAN2008 Greatness Remembered Often time I find myself running through the Naval Academy Cemetery and the first noticeable grave I see is that of Lieutenant Commander Erik Kristensen. I see the Navy SEAL crest, Asadabad, Afghanistan, and a simple quote by Herman Melville that tells the reader everything. His name is centered between that of his parents’, who are physically absent. The entirety of the stark black stone creates an image much like Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” but this one tombstone has more impact to those of us at the Naval Academy. This grave memorializes a real person who we midshipmen want to emulate. We have to come to this school to become someone, to lead men and women valiantly through combat as LCDR Kristensen so clearly did. We strive to become one of the heroes that have his or hear idyllic capabilities eternally placed on the Yard. Yet we do not need these monuments to become great, just as they do not need us, the observers, to value what they have done. When I run past the Kristensen plot, I stop to think about how he got here on this crowded hill in Annapolis at such young. But then I look at the Navy SEAL crest gleaming in gold above his name. This crest is not like most in the military; it represents an elite branch that is known for hard work above all others. Without knowing his name or circumstances I can tell you that he represented the hard work and resilience that we work towards every day. That he was so young when he passed away shows me that he
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died while serving as a SEAL. Never would he gain the opportunities to disappoint his
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