22 Aug 2017
Kevin & Kevin "August 2006"
The forgotten stories of the war in Iraq came full circle for me this year in Fort-Myers-Florida, thus begins the story of Kevin & Kevin.
Kevin Waruinge was a young Kenyan who came to this country with his parents from Kenya. He loved his adopted country and joined the Marines. He was dispatched to Iraq on August 3, 2005 where he was killed. He was 21 years old.
Kevin Ndiangui was also a young Kenyan who came to this country with his dad. He exemplified himself to his community and his church. He attended the University-of-Connecticut; graduated with honors, planned go to medical school. On a rainy December-night last year he was killed in a traffic accident in Florida. He was 23 years old.
These are stories that will only engage a few words in the media; but these were real sons of people who immigrated here and have given this country more than most. Receiving a military flag is impressive, but that does not ease the pain of parents who shall never again hug their son lost in a war they never understood; but never stood in his way when their son who wanted to serve. Meeting with the parents of Kevin Waruinge there was an unspeakable pain from them that time will not heal so soon. What word could I tell them about the empty room in their home. We cannot forget the pain of Patrick and Rose Waruinge, theirs is unbearable; but in the end all we can do is show them the kindness that we share, and give them words of encouragement to go on and remember the blessing that Kevin brought them.
So too is the pain of Peter Ndiangui. His son Kevin was an honor student. He loved the arts, and classical music. He brought a smile to everyone he met, he was out-going; yet a December night in 2005 saw the end of a life that only God knows where it could have gone. His dad, Peter, pain is no less than those brought on by war. This was his only son, his joy, his heart. Said Peter, ‘how can I go on, how I can live with the constant memory of this lost, he was suppose bury me, not me him‘. Peter’s pain can only be described as a father lost searching for an answer to his pain.
Rabbi Kushner, in his book asked ‘Why does bad things happen to good people‘. Peter is a teacher and he uses the death of his son to teach other kids the dangers of life, always encouraging them to be their best. Peter took me to the airport on Sunday. His parting words, ‘ I am glad you came’. Perhaps I brought and left a measure of comfort, knowing that this will be with him for the rest of his days.
Hartley, Presiding Archbishop ACW