On June 10, 2010, Quinn was honored at Wy'East Middle School by scores of friends, family, teachers and countless others. The Wy'East Parent Network dedicated a memorial stone at the garden planted last year in Quinn's remembrance. We also dedicated Quinn's football jersey, to be displayed in the school, honoring a "True Warrior".
I wrote a "speech" for that day and wanted to share it with you.
First of all we would like to thank Kristen and the Wy’East Parent Network for organizing the event this evening. I would also like to thank the teachers, administrators and staff of Wy’East and those of you who are from other schools in the in our area. A special shout out to Beth Biggs for getting the word out and her dedication to Quinn’s memory.
Also, we thank you, our family, friends and tireless supporters who have provided us with the strength to get through this past year. Words cannot express the gratitude and humility we feel every day for your love and encouragement.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the young men and women who are here today in person or in spirit to honor their friend. Kelly and I have been absolutely amazed by the network of friends and acquaintances Quinn established while he was here with us. Each and every one of you represents a remarkable testament to what is right in this world. You have shown amazing grace, strength and spirit throughout the past 12months. As Quinn did, we love each and every one of you and could not be more proud of what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish in your lives.
Today marks a day of new beginnings. Together we have made it through a difficult year. A year with countless “firsts”, a year will sorrow, a year with innumerable tears and a year of asking “why”. Today, we start anew. Today we get stop worrying about all of the firsts. The first birthday, the first day of school, the first Christmas, the first anniversary, and so on.
Today we should all need to stop asking why. Why did this happen? Why Quinn? Why me? Why us? Why, why?
Although we still grieve and shed many tears. Today marks the day when we should all stop asking “why”. Instead we should all be asking “how”. The word “how” is used to measure quality. The word “how” is used in a manner in which something is done. The word “how” should be used in your lives as a measurement of action, of character of success.
So starting today, June 10, 2010 start to ask yourself:
How can I make a difference?
How are my actions, words or behavior perceived by others?
How can I be a better son, daughter, husband, wife or friend?
How can I take action and make the world a better place?
How can I live my life with principle, character and humility?
How can I help others when they are down?
How can I honor and make those who have gone before us proud?
Use today as a new beginning. Where June 10th becomes a day to honor, to remember, to cry, to laugh but to most of all ask yourself, how.
I will close with one final thought. A quote from Quinn’s hero, baseball great Jackie Robinson.
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.