What is the measure of a man?
It would be too easy to take this along the usual route, money, power, popular fame. I was tempted and restarted this post since I had started down that comfortable, familiar, trodden path.
But that is not Lex.
There is no Nobel Prize, no Oscar, no Pulitzer Prize, though I believe that's more a case of how far traditional journalism has fallen for the latter. There are the usual indicators however. There are some fairly important people that made the effort to let his friends and family know that they were well aware of who he was, as a military man and as a journalist. The Secretary of the Navy, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe who is also the commander of the United States European Command, and others have all commented and passed along their condolences.
Well over ten thousand posts of condolences on his blog.Throughout the threads you see the same heartfelt comments about missing him and the impact he has had on their lives. New blogs have sprung up spurred on by his example, taking the torch he has passed with his passing. Who knows how many cards will eventually show up making his family aware that their loss is also an international loss.
But, people who have never met him have traveled to his ceremony today. From across the country people who personally knew him and those who only knew him online have traveled to pay their respects to a man they all respected and who is now being laid to rest.
By all measures, he was a good husband, father, and provider. It was obvious how he felt about his family. Their successes were his joy, painfully obvious when he wrote of them. Their pain and tribulations were his as well, magnified through the lens of parental concern.
So, what is the measure of a man? He is measured by the good that he has done and how he has treated his fellow man. He is measured by the difference that he has made in the lives of his fellow man and the compassion he has shown them, great and not so. And by the way he treats even the animals of the earth entrusted to his care.
That is the measure.
You stand relieved sir, we have the watch.
Go with the thanks of a grateful nation and us your friends.
You will be missed.
Requiescat in pace Lex.