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Kamla: Slain soldier was a hero
Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday asked mourners to ensure that the eight-year-old son of Lance Cpl Marcus Gay grows up knowing that his father was a hero.
Persad-Bissessar was among scores of people, including several arms of the protective services, who packed the St Christopher's Anglican Church in Siparia to bade farewell to Gay who was murdered in the line of work last week Tuesday in Moruga.
Describing him as a hero, Persad-Bissessar said Gay made the ultimate sacrifice in service of his country and deserved a hero send off. "
Persad-Bissessar, a close friend of Gay's mother-in-law, Kim Quashie, said "When I heard about the passing of Lance Cpl Marcus Gay, killed in the line of duty, doing his job in service of his country, I felt great sadness and fear."
Asking that Gay's legacy be honoured, she said, "We have to do our path to ensure that his son grows up knowing he is loved and most importantly knowing that his father was and is a hero, a man we can all be proud of, a man his son can emulate, a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country."
In the homily, Father Aaron Charles said Gay's death left the entire community, including the church where he also served as the captain of the football team, sad. "Sad because of his personalities, the way he lived and how his life was taken away.
"This is a lesson for all of us, like Jesus, Marcus died in service to his country and it is a call for us as a nation to begin to serve again," he said.
Gay's colleague Sheldon Dougan said Gay enlisted in the Defence Force in 2005. "His basic military training coupled with his character and personal drive to become the best solider ever was the foundation of his development into the exemplar military professional he was."
Cindy-ann Smith said her brother lived a life to the fullest and was devoted to his family.
David Scanterbury of the National Security Officers Foundation, also paid tribute to Gay.
Following the service a street procession, with Gay's casket transported in a gun carriage, was held from the church to the cemetery. Media photographers, however, were put out of the church compound by military officers who also hassled them while they were taking photos of the procession.