Monday, April 28, 2014

When Great Trees Fall

On March 25, 2014 we lost one of the world’s great citizens.

Nearly five weeks ago, Peace Corps Paraguay Volunteer Porter Knight passed away in his host community. A quiet man, neither chatty nor boastful, Porter did more to improve the quality of our environment in his 28 years than most of us will in 80. Innovative, strong, curious, passionate, a little goofy. Kevin says that Porter embodied what men strive to be. A cruel twist, many Volunteers learned more about him in the days after his death than they had gathered since his arrival in Paraguay. In a ceremony under the mango trees that one of his dear friends assured me he would dislike (too long, too much fuss), we shared, we cried, we laughed. We got to know him better.

Most people will never understand the bond that occurs between Peace Corps Volunteers. Even people who knew him only a little are devastated. He was one of us. He is one of us and our hearts are broken.

Though we spent mere moments together, his legacy--his model, his example--will endure. Mr. and Mrs. Knight, I am so sorry for your loss. Half a world away, we honor your son. We love your son. We miss your son. Thank you for sharing him and his bright smile with us.

During his service, one of Porter's G-mates read Maya Angelou's "When Great Trees Fall." 
Be and be better. For Porter existed.

All donations to the Porter Knight Memorial Fund will support approved Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) projects in Paraguay that focus on the environment. To contribute, please click on the following link:

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