Death is not terrible to him who meets it bravely, wisely and in the strength of his youth. It is always terrible to the coward, the weakling and the fool. Yet, by the very inverse reason, for those who remain the death of a brave man is tragic beyond the poor power of words.
It is not the passing out of the personal life, dear as that may be to those who have known him, which constitutes the loss. It is the unfulfilled promise, the vacant years, the deeds not done which might have been well done, the cutting short of a strong man's life. For the loss of these no vacant praise, nor deeper memory, nor most bitter grief may at all avail.
Willaim Meeker died in France in that cause for which other fine lads have died. He went forth bravely, as he could not help but go. More than that a man may not do. The highest reverence goes to him who wins the proud right to die. But nothing may remake the broken years. The leadership, the inspiration, may not be gleaned from death.
There are those who knew him in life who, finding words but barren things, may say only this. It would have been well had another died for him.
Harvard counts him not the least among her sons.