Dedication Ceremony Speech

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 3, 2003.

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.


Copyright © All Rights Reserved.