When bad things happen to good people we are always left wondering why.
Such is the case in the murder of Revere native and Army veteran, Stephen Perez, Jr.
He was a young man with much to look forward to. He had finished a successful stint in the US Army in Afghanistan as a sniper. But he was more than that assignation. According to nearly all those who knew him and who were asked to speak about him at his funeral last week, Perez was described as a good guy, someone who could be depended upon.
He loved the Army. He loved the United States of America. He was proud of his family and upbringing here and he had come back determined to make something of his life.
He wanted to become a police officer. He also wanted to educate himself and was studying at Bunker Hill Community College when he was shot in the back, cut down in a parking lot in downtown Boston.
The outpouring of sympathy for him has been profound since the first word of his death reached the city.
His parents have been thrown into a state of despair. His friends are all wondering why he died. Boston Police do have some compelling video that may lead to arrests soon.
What is known is whomever shot Stephen Perez, Jr. is a coward.
The home where Stephen Perez grew up will never be the same. Without his presence, his parents, family and many, many friends will have to make do with memories of his time on this earth.
Before his funeral, almost 1000 people showed up for a candle light memorial vigil inside Harry Della-Russo Stadium.
Then there was the wake and the funeral itself, which drew hundreds to St. Anthony’s Church and then to the cemetery, where he was buried with full military honors.
It is hard to know what awaits us each day when we awaken. It is impossible to know how our day will go and what we will do and the challenges that will be placed in our way.
Two weeks ago, Revere’s Stephen Perez was alive and well having served his nation in one of the most dangerous places in the world – Afghanistan.
Last week, Stephen Perez was cut down in a monstrous cowardly act which took the life of a really worthy young son of this city.
He did not deserve to die in this cowardly manner.
We offer our condolences to the Perez Family.