One year ago we lost you to a horrible accident. You could have tried to save yourself, but instead, spared the lives of many others out on this holiday weekend. They called you a hero. What a selfless act of courage and bravery. You could have spared your one family from feeling the loss that we do, but instead, spared many families from losing their loved ones. We call you a hero. What happened and what you were thinking in your last moments flying above this earth have been questions we've asked. We have answers for neither. You might have been thinking about the problems with the plane. Did you know what would happen next? You might have been thinking about the people on the ground below you. Can you sacrifice yourself to save them? Maybe you were thinking about us, your family. Do you have any idea how much we all miss you?
Kate was the one to notice you missing. She went looking for you and you and the plane were gone. I don't know how I would have handled what she had to go through. She's the one who had to call Dad, your brother, to tell him you were missing...and possibly dead. They searched a long time to find you and the plane. I hear that the river is shallow and muddy. She and Nick visited your crash site today. What memories it must have brought back for her. I love her so much for being so brave and composed; I know you do, too.
Elizabeth is your only great-niece to meet you. She'll never remember you in the flesh as we do, but she'll know you all the same. We'll make sure of that. She sleeps every night with the beautiful blanket you gave her. We just love the little air plane! She will know you, I promise.
We all miss you. I think of you often. I think of you and will pray for you for the rest of my life. One day I'll get to see you again. Maybe you'll take me flying.