FUNERAL FOR A FALLEN MIDSHIPMAN
Yesterday was the funeral of family friend and fellow USNA classmate of Mary's, Ben Carr. Ben died late Thanksgiving night when the car he was a passenger in crashed headlong into a tree killing him instantly. Words cannot describe the grief that has taken over our community. Ben was a student at St. Mary's for 13 years and then a stellar Midshipman in his junior year. As the Deacon stated yesterday at the funeral Mass, "there is only love, and we must remember that as long as we love one another, no one ever truly leaves us". I watched in stunned silence at the beauty and pageantry of the Catholic Funeral Mass coupled with the precision of a full military funeral. It was breathtaking. The solemn march from the Naval Academy chapel to the Naval Academy cemetery (about 1 mile) was silent and solemn. His entire company as well as other Midshipmen who knew Ben well were present to honor their fallen shipmate. I would say that there were approximately 1000 people in attendance which comforted Ben's family tremendously. At one point in time, Ben's mom told me "I don't think I know this many people". The most powerful part of the ceremony came at the end, after the 21 gun salute, after the playing of TAPS and after the flag was folded and handed to Patti. As family and friends left the grave site to attend a reception at a nearby home, ALL of Ben's company stayed watch at the grave site in somber silence. Mourners processed passed them and yet they stayed at attention until the casket was lowered into the ground. Only when it was fully lowered did they give their fallen shipmate one final salute and process away. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time.
Charles Benjamin Carr, IV
July 1, 1986-November 24, 2006