It wasn't how sounds of explosions and gunfire
had always racketed the place.
It wasn't how this was mainly a Muslim country, or
how his bald, Hispanic head vividly reflected the sunshine.
Nor was it his immensely muscular body,
the way he kept a charming smile, or
the way his crucifix elegantly danced within the wind on long days.
What stood out was that his thick, black vest and lightweight garb
said "volunteer" as if to embrace the very meaning of the word.
It wasn't how high school was always a tough place to be.
It wasn't how she, an Arab, wore a hijab
and he, with his hair everywhere, never hesitated to help.
It wasn't how she always had trouble deciphering the language
and he sometimes found it somewhat tiring.
What stood out was that, through their efforts,
she'd be free soon,
and getting her degree in Biology.
It wasn't how, on his funeral day, the clouds that flew by were shaped like Superman,
or that his dreams were shattered before his bullet-ridden body
could ever hit the ground.
It wasn't how he always thought of his friends in a brighter light
or how, when he was little, he once said to his mom,
"I'm gonna be a hero someday."
What stood out is that, through his mind,
he was always a brilliant inspiration
and his light will never fade.
Through all these bright examples,
Teamwork has always been the world's shining light.
Though hope may sometimes shatter amongst the ruins in the cold...
The tears of the good will water the soil.
Written June 2012