In the play Julius Caesar, Shakespeare puts into Marc Antony’s mouth one of the most famous speeches in history. You know that speech. It was the one that begins:
- Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
- I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
- The evil that men do lives after them;
- The good is oft interrèd with their bones.
Sometimes, though, the good is not interred with their bones. Case in point: Corporal Benjamin Kopp, a 21 year old Ranger who was fatally wounded last month in during combat in Afghanistan. The death of one so young, especially one engaged in both the defense of his country and the freedom of the Afghani people, is a tragedy. But even tragedies can pave the way to something more beautiful:
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Army Ranger Benjamin Kopp died last month after being wounded in Afghanistan, but a part of the Minnesota soldier lives on.
His family agreed to donate his organs, and now a 57-year-old Chicago woman feels privileged to have received the Rosemount soldier’s heart.
Judy Meikle says she got a call about Kopp’s death two weeks ago from the soldier’s cousin, who’s her close friend. His heart was a perfect match for Meikle.
She says she now has the heart of an Army Ranger who’s a bona fide hero.
Kopp served two tours in Iraq before his tour in Afghanistan as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Benning, Ga. He will be buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.
The 21-year-old died July 18 after being wounded in battle.