On Sunday, June 2 , Lt. Col. Mark Weber was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning. Weber had spoken six days earlier at the Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Snelling.
His message of service and duty echoed through that beautiful spot. Hundreds applauded after he finished. He appeared from a distance to be strong and well. But he was — as he had been for three years — battling terminal cancer. His book, “Tell My Sons,” was published nationally on June 4. It’s a memoir not just for his own children, but for all to read and understand the value of sacrifice, honor, and above all, family.READ MORE: Mass Casualty Simulation Helps Nat'l Guard, Children's Minnesota Practice Treating Kids
That Sunday morning, about an hour before the show, he called concerned about parking. His voice sounded weak. I suggested a few parking ramps, and there was a pause. He admitted he was not up to going far. He arrived in a wheel chair. He was alone and had driven himself.
He was very weak physically, but his eyes twinkled and he brushed aside my suggestion to have him do the interview from his wheel chair. With some help he did the interview, as scheduled from the interview set. He was delightful and self-effacing. He brushed aside praise for his beautifully written book. He insisted the honors he had been receiving, including a spread in this weekend’s Parade magazine, was far more than he deserved.READ MORE: Amid Missionary Hostage Crisis, Minnesotan From Port-Au-Prince Wishes 'Haiti Would Get The Help They Need'
When I thanked him for coming, he repeatedly thanked me for inviting him. In fact, his last communication with me was a text which said simply, “Thank YOU!”
Weber passed away Thursday.MORE NEWS: Nurses Complete First Day Of Strike At Plymouth's WestHealth
I would just like to say: Thank you Lt. Col. Weber for your service, and for sharing your remarkable story of courage and grace in your book. This Father’s Day, we think of your family, who in their grief can hopefully be comforted by the realization that in your 41 years you brought inspiration and strength to so many.