May 27, 2004
Capt. John R. Teal
Emmie Louise Teal,
Mother of Capt. Teal
Board of Directors, Mr. McGinty, Faculty and Staff of Benedictine
High School, The Monks of Mary the Mother of the Church
Abbey, The Corp. of Cadets, The Classes of 1990 & 2004,
Honored guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is indeed overwhelming to
be here today and witness the wonderful ways you have honored
our Son, Capt. John R. Teal, class of 1990. All of our family
wishes to extend to Benedictine, Mr. Bannon, the Corp. of
Cadets, and The Graduating Class of 2004 our thanks for
these very heartwarming tributes.
Our Son was one of seven young
men from Mechanicsville who left here in the Spring of 1990
headed for Virginia Military Institute. Father Donald called
them "the Mechanicsville Seven". Little did one
of those young men, Chris Ratchford, ever envision that
thirteen years later he would be eulogizing his friend,
J. R. Patrick, Chris and Father Donald Scales all spoke
of their remembrances of him at a Memorial Service on November
But, it was Patrick Jones who
said, J. R. was a character (and he was). However, from
things we have found out about him from his fellow soldiers
and officers, they knew, as did we, that he also had Character.
On his last Army evaluation,
he had been approved to be promoted to Major. He was also
recommended to work on the staff of The Joint Chiefs of
Staff. And, he was accepted for training in The Special
Forces although he was forced to decline due to an injury.
He had earned the Expert Field
Medical Badge and completed the run section of its requirements
in record time. He had three Army Achievement Medals and
three Army Commendation Awards. He was posthumously awarded
the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
All of these lovely tributes
to our Son here today will long be remembered. But there
is one tribute still to be dedicated and it won't be done
in a day, or in a year, but in a lifetime.
For you see Capt. John Teal
died last year in Iraq, but the opportunity for him to live
on is vested in you, and you, and all of you fine young
men. Go out, as you graduate from Benedictine and make sure
that you keep his patriotic spirit alive and well.
Will everyone take just a moment
and turn and face the American Flag? That Flag is the most
beautiful sight you will ever see. It is more beautiful
than a newborn babe, it is more beautiful than the most
magnificent butterfly. It is the most beautiful sight because
without it, you would not have the freedom to enjoy any
other things that you hold dear.
God Bless you all and may
God continue to Bless the United States of America.