A speech made on December 7, 2006, by Jim Moshier in the Red Room of the State Capitol at a ceremony where Governor George Pataki signed into law the legislation creating the Captain Timothy J. Moshier Memorial Highway.
Gov. Pataki, Neil and Mike Breslin, Assemblyman Casale, General Teluto, General Swezey, Supervisor Egan, and Dave Austin…..
Tim, did you ever think that your father would be standing in the Red Room of the NYS Capitol speaking those words….. And including the name of your high school friend Dave Austin….
Our family is extremely humbled and honored with this dedication to Tim. We are small town, to remember Tim’s contribution to life in this way… is big time. And a continued example of the support and strength we have received from our family, friends, our community, the Army, and our State…it is truly heart felt and appreciated.
Since April 1, 2006, my life has changed…I would like to take a few moments and share with you some of the changes that have happened to me personally, as a result of Tim’s death….I share them with you as a representative of that portion of our nation that face these issues on a daily basis… whether their loved ones are soldiers, law enforcement officers, fireman and safety personnel, teachers, or even legislative leaders.
Since April 1, I have collected five coins that I carry with me daily. They all came from different sources, and each one in its own way reminds me of Tim. …The first was handed to me by a close friend on the night of Tim’s wake. It is a St. Christopher medal…..daily it reminds me of my Catholic upbringing, and that when I shared it with Tim, he embraced it, and it became a guiding force in his life as well. Tim was one of the only people I know who was baptized, received his first communion, confirmed, married, buried, and had his child baptized at the same church. When I have turned to God for answers, he has helped me find peace….
The second coin is a West Point “challenge” coin. I actually bought this coin while attending a conference at West Point in July. I remembered Tim and his life at West Point… full of challenges, some successes, and some disappointments, but upon completion…one of the things he was most proud of. The West Point years were a great family experience, not only is it a NY treasure, but a living museum of activity and natural beauty. Through Tim, we met some of the most dedicated, innovative, and committed people we have ever known. Just being a small part of that community at the fringes, is inspiring.
The third coin is a unit “challenge” coin from 1-6 Aviation… that’s the 1st Squadron -6th Cavalry Division of the Army. It was given to me by LTC Steve Mathias the Battalion Commander at a memorial service at Ft. Hood, Texas…… It was given with respect and honor to Tim’s contribution and dedication to the Unit. It was here that Tim received his call sign of “Blackjack 1-6”, and first flew with his co-pilot of April 1, CW3 Mike Hartwick… “Black jack 2-3”, as they prepared for the missions they would be asked to perform in Iraq. When flying those missions they had a phrase as one wing of aircraft was taking over on station, for another, the incoming formation would announce to the outgoing formation, “we are on station and we have the fight”. These are powerful words that inspire me every day.
The fourth coin is the unit coin of 4-4 AVN… 4th Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division; it was given to me by the Battalion Commander, LTC John Novalis. The colors of 1-6 Cavalry were cased and they were reassigned to 4th I.D. … it was as this unit that Tim deployed to Iraq on December 1, 2005. The unit, “Gambler Guns” was an Apache unit…. The Apache is the jet fighter of Army Aviation, whose mission is to provide air support and protection for on-going ground activities, and to hunt the enemy, when called upon. It was a dangerous mission. Tim knew of the danger, but chose Apaches back in flight school… because of the mission he would fly. To protect and support his fellow Soldiers, and to protect and support his family and his nation.
The fifth coin I found has probably been with me always, but it’s sometimes not as easy to see. It is the coin of faith… I’m sure if you check your pockets… each of you is probably carrying this coin also. If not, mine is a large denomination, and I would be happy to share some with you after today’s ceremony….. This coin of faith reminds me daily of those concepts in life that are not as easily seen. We all know what walls, and buildings, and trees, are but those concepts of peace, courage, honor, respect and love are not as easily defined or described. It is because of the trees and buildings and people that we can define those things that are less defined…. Because of war… we know peace, because of fear, we know courage…. Because of disgrace, we know honor, because of hatred, we truly know love. This fifth coin reminds me daily of my responsibility in life to others. I’m sure that it guides you who serve in these hallowed halls to help shape and mold our future… because of the past; we can imagine our future….
In closing…like these coins remind me, I remind you to use your own gifts to help shape our lives and future….. First we care for and nurture our children, then step aside… for they will pass us by and exceed all of our expectations……. As you pass over Tim’s highway be reminded of his service….as representative of all of the service done every day by a group of young men and women who serve to protect us, … be reminded of our responsibilities, be reminded of our faith….,
“Blackjack 1-6, Black 2-3, and rest in peace…. we have the fight” and we will not fail.