I am so very grateful for all that you do to honor EAA members in such a respectful manner. The quality of your EAA Memorial wall photos was so good that I could read the names by using a magnifying glass to see them more closely. That said, Ryan's name was just out of the frame. Perhaps a future addition to your otherwise wonderful site could be a broad (wide shot) of the memorial, then close-ups of the various sections. Millions of people can benefit from viewing your webpage, but most of those people shall never be able to visit the memorial in person. For that reason, we, the viewing audience are dependent upon your generous nature to maintain the webpages.
Next month, 27 Feb. 2010 is the first anniversary of the death of my young friend and I do not know how I shall mark his passing, but I am sure that a great deal of crying will be involved as my tears cannot be contained each day.
Adam, you aren't just running webpages for a few (living and deceased) pilots, you are expressing your loving nature by helping the EAA membership to deal with our grieving process. Someone needs to hug you for your efforts as you are a wonderful young man to help out strangers, to honor them, respect them, and I thank you for going further to post my note. It is through our expression of loss that some alleged healing can begin. I say "alleged," for the pain grows exponentially at this point instead of subsiding.
On the night I held Ryan Christopher Mouritsen's Aviation Memorial on 28 September 2009, over the city of Louisville, Kentucky (the 16th largest city in the USA) (over Bowman Field-KLOU)(the oldest operating continuously airport in the world) (formerly the busiest airport in the world--WWII), honoring Ryan at this field seemed appropriate. While I hadn't probably written a poem in about 15+ years, I was so inspired by Ryan's life to return home and take notice of the emptiness and pain in my heart and mind.
As a reaction to the Aviation Memorial, I wrote the follow poem:
A poem for Ryan Christopher Mouritsen by Brennan James Callan, 28 September 2009:
Flying with Ryan's memorial aerial banner gave me the feeling of his presence for the flight.
Blustering, flowing, blowing, his banner soured across the sky just before the night.
Free of the troubles of life, we flew together, my friend and I.
Flittering in the sherbert colored sky, Ryan was with me.
If only for those moments now, if only those moments until I die.
Rather than moments for me, it was we.
My friend, the cute little guy.
What shall I do until we meet again.
For he is not mine to keep, but to think of now than then.
Endless tears keep coming each day and each week.
Perhaps he should inspire me to live life to its peak.
Yet, I still weep.
Others knew him better, but I knew him well enough.
He was an actor, a writer, an aviator, an adventurer, he had the right stuff.
I was a coward and never told him how I felt.
Those are the cards I was dealt.
To fall in love with someone and keep it to yourself.
Maybe that was selfish, or to doubt one's self.
Would he reflect the love or tell me to take a hike?
Investing in those words, those thoughts, those feelings, did seem right.
Youth was on our side, time seemed abundant, no need to rush,
Why cloud up a friendship with too much mush?
Who knew the darkest night was drawing near?
Ryan raced toward adventure without any fear.
He was a person loved by one and all.
He never heard those words from me for I was in a stall.
When is the right time to express your love to a new friend?
You had better do it soon, as we never know when life will end.
My love for Ryan was a secret to one and all.
To him, to his friends in California, and to his family in Utah.
Therefore, no one told me when the ultralight came to that fatal stall.
I learned of his passing months later in the National Gay Pilots Association periodical,
Now knowing why he never returned my call.
Now I can only tell everyone else, but not the adorable little guy.
He was the apple of my eye.
Putting his name above the Louisville sky today, what else could I do?
That's right, I should have found the courage during his living days and said, "Ryan Mouritsen, I love you."
Virtual hugs for you Ryan and and also for you Adam.
My older brother told me I should focus on the fact I was honored to know Ryan and not focus on how much I miss him from my life. That is easier said that done.
Broken hearted and adrift.
Hon. Brennan James Callan, Col.
President/ Founder of Kentuckiana Cinematography Club (KCC)
Aeronautical Scientist, Underwater Geo Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Geographer, Paralegal, Criminologist, Cinematographer, Aerial Videographer, Still photographer, Writer, Producer, Director, Actor
PGP Fingerprint 929C 6FDD 5A1C B8F0 F5D8 645E 1924 B86A C99D E311