Saturday, April 21, 2007

This is not goodbye. This is just "see you later."

-Zach to his friend Kathleen on Friday night. He was planning to leave for Pennsylvania on Tuesday.


What's New?

8/20 (Monday): Started http://zachswriting.blogspot.com where we'll be posting Zach's own reflections on life and death.

5/28 (Monday): ADDED The Complete Aviano AFB Memorial Service Video (click "Comments" to jump to specific sections) and Photos taken by base photographers.

Read Obituary

Obituary

Zach Weber, 21, of Freeport, PA was taken home by his Father on April 21, 2007, when he fell in a sudden rockslide while hiking in the Italian Alps.

Zach was an Airman First Class stationed with the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Aviano AFB, Italy. Zach was presented posthumously with an Air Force Commendation Medal at a memorial service held at Aviano AFB on April 27th. Zach earned this medal, typically reserved for E-5s or higher, for successfully identifying and solving particular problems with the F-16s in which he specialized. Zach was within days of being reassigned to Beale AFB in California. He had been hand-selected to go there to work on the cutting-edge Global Hawk aircraft and was to begin this assignment in May.

Born on August 6, 1985 in Seoul, South Korea, Zach was adopted by Jim and Alison when he was three months old. Zach was a committed Boy Scout throughout his life, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 2003. Zach loved soccer and was the co-captain of the Freeport High School soccer team his senior year. In his teen years, he was a leader amongst his peers in the youth group at Christ Community Fellowship in Buffalo Township. Homeschooled for most of his life before attending Evangel Heights Christian Academy and Freeport High School, Zach graduated from the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in 2004. He then enlisted in the Air Force, where he worked in avionics.

Zach always had a sense of humor about both life and death. He knew that his citizenship was in heaven, and so he took on the world without fear: He went rock climbing and snowboarding in the Alps, explored the castles of Ireland, and never missed a good soccer game with his friends. Zach didn’t live to impress anyone but his God, yet he was extremely respected and loved by those who knew him. He was a true friend, and his quiet conviction had an immeasurable impact on many lives.

Zach is survived by his parents, Jim and Alison Weber, of Freeport; his younger sister, Sam (15), also of Freeport; his older sister, Alexa (23), and her husband, Seth Andrzejewski, of San Francisco; and his great-uncle, G. Stanley Weber, of Oxon Hill, MD.

Read Eulogy by Alexa

Eulogy

Given at the Aviano AFB memorial service.

I would like to be able to stand up here and share with you some stories about my brother, to tell you something that would make you laugh and help you get to know Zach better. But although I have those memories in my head, I could never tell our stories the way Zach could. I always admitted that he was more funny than me. Zach found humor in the most mundane incidents, and no one could ever make me laugh as much and as hard as Zach did. I always told Zach, “if you ever died, it would be like getting a lobotomy—because you have like half of my memories in your head!” In a very real way, a part of me died with Zach.

Yet in the past week, I have gotten to know Zach better than I ever have before, and I wanted to share with you three things that have stood out to me most about him.

Zach had a sense of humor about both life and death. He knew that his citizenship was in heaven and that we are merely “shadows and dust” on this earth. Because he saw life for what it was—a shadow of something far better—he was able to truly live. And Zach really lived it up, especially here in Italy. He went rock climbing and snowboarding. He got to see the castles of Ireland. And he never missed a good soccer game with his friends. He took on the world without fear.

Zach wasn’t the kind of person who was always living for the future, always waiting to get on to the next thing. It’s so easy in life to get caught up in reaching for the next thing—when you’re in high school, you can’t wait to go to college. In college you can’t wait to get married. When married, you can’t wait to have kids or something. Zach wasn’t like that. Zach was content. He wasn’t sure what he would do once he left the Air Force, and though that worried him a little, he left it in God’s hands, praying every day lately, “God, show me your will for my life.” Zach lived in the now. And somehow that makes this a little less tragic, because Zach wasn’t living for something he could now never have. He had all that he wanted.

Finally, Zach was Zach. He was always so much more “cool” than me, but it wasn’t because tried. He was just real. And people liked that about him. The faith that many people know him for was simply who he was. He didn’t preach it at people, he just lived it. He was a true friend—accepting others for who they were, while being honest enough to speak the truth in love if that was what being a true friend meant. And it was this quiet conviction that impressed others. A friend of Zach’s told us, “Zach saved my life.” And I believe that even through his death, Zach will continue to bring hope to others.

If Zach’s death prompts people to seek out what gave him his perspective, his contentment, and his convictions, and if that gives them hope they might not have otherwise had, then his death was not in vain.

These are just a few of the truths I’ve realized about Zach in this past week. And although Zach is gone, I realize that I’ll probably keep getting to know him for the rest of my life as I realize a little more each day who he was and what he meant to me.

Read Eulogy by Kathleen

Kathleen’s Eulogy

Given at the Aviano AFB memorial service.

I had the great opportunity to know Zach as a close friend. From my own personal experience with Zach, he showed that he was a man who wanted to protect and take care of those he loved. Knowing that I was a person who was always cold, no matter what the temperature, he would repeatedly give me his hoodie sweatshirt to wear, or share his favorite blanket that his mom knitted when we watched a movie. He never failed to ask me if I was warm enough, or hungry, or if I had had enough chocolate that day. He would never let me pay when we went to a movie or ate out, which is why he was so embarrassed and upset with himself when on one occasion he left his wallet in the car and I had to pay for our bill. I don’t think I ever heard a man say “I’m sorry” so many times. Even as a kid when we would hike up with his sisters to our lookout in Mt. Union, Pennsylvania, he would wait for me when I would stop to take a break because he knew I was such a weak and inexperienced hiker. With Zach, I never had to question if he cared about me. I saw it in his actions, felt it in his hugs, heard it in his words.

It would take me days to share all of the wonderful memories that I have of Zach-especially of the times when we would laugh uncontrollably about using childhood pictures of us against each other as blackmail—his bad hair and my chicken legs. However, my role in this memorial ceremony is a little different. My task is to share with you about Zach’s powerful inner-life that made him such a great guy.

Zach was a great guy NOT because of his accomplishments or his courage, but because of the One who lived through his life. Zach was a devoted Christian; a man who wanted to make every decision count for his creator, Jesus Christ. When I first spoke to Zach’s family after he passed away, the thing that they wanted the most, and what comforted them the most, was to hear about how his desire to live for Christ affected and influenced those around him. He loved Christ with all of his heart and he wanted his friends and family to know that fact, and he wanted his life to show it.

I am blessed to say that I knew this part of Zach’s life well enough that if he were standing here today at his own service to tell you about his life, he would probably begin with a few words about his family and friends, but beyond any doubt in my mind, he would want to tell all of you about the Good News of forgiveness for sins and, most importantly, victory over the grave.

I want to tell you a story of a man from the Bible, named Nicodemus. One evening, he came to speak with Jesus. Nicodemus was a part of the ruling council of Israel. He was extremely well-educated, very religious, and very accomplished. In turn, Nicodemus had wealth, title, and the power that came with both. But there was a problem. No matter how much the world offered him, he knew none of it was good enough to merit everlasting life. Nobody’s that good. Jesus told Nicodemus that his whole life had to be re-born, re-founded on the only One Who could give him everlasting life, Jesus Himself.

Similarly, Zach could have felt that he was good enough because of the privilege of being an American, or because he was blessed with good friends and a loving family, or because he was generally a good guy. Zach knew that even the good guys can go early. But at the moment that his physical life here on earth ended, all of those things were lost to him—gone—worthless. At that moment, there was only one thing that mattered and that was the promise from Christ, God’s son, that Zach would rise again and come back to life someday, because His Savior did.

Death never had to be bleak or dark to Zach because he knew that everlasting life would come afterward. Today’s memorial would be tragic if we commemorated a man who died without hope or purpose. Instead, we’re celebrating a man who lived all of the days of the life that God had given him. And he lived them without fear, but with confidence in the promises of God’s sovereignty and love.

As I mentioned earlier, Zach and I were friends as kids. But unfortunately there was almost a seven-year gap where we lost touch with each other, and it wasn’t until last summer that our friendship became alive again. When we both realized that we were going to be in the same area of Italy at the same time, we couldn’t help but wonder what God had in store for us by having our lives re-align in such a unique way after so much time had passed. Upon my arrival here in January, it became clear to us rather quickly that God was using us to encourage each other to live our lives to the fullest for God’s glory. Zach himself said that this is why God brought me here. This is why we met and became friends almost 11 years ago.

Zach knew in his heart that even at times when life didn’t make sense - that God was in control. God knows what He is doing. He will always do what is right. The Lord is sovereign, and He will remain that way forever and ever.

This month we honored Good Friday - the day that Jesus died for the sins of all who would turn to Him. And we celebrated Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, when Jesus conquered the sting of death with Life. In the end of this story, Life wins. I want to encourage everybody to reflect deeply in the days to come about that Life and the example of Zach’s life.

In closing, I don’t know why Zach died – but I do know why he lived. Zach lived to love the God of Heaven revealed in the Bible. I know that Zach is in Heaven because of the faith he put in Jesus Christ, in his savior’s death and resurrection. And if we could look into Heaven, I believe that we would see Zach encouraging us to consider Christ and our lives. And I also believe that alongside Zach we would see Jesus with His nail-scarred hands extended to all of us in invitation to come to Him. As Zach told me the night before he died, “This isn’t goodbye; this is just see you later.” I know that I will see him later. And I hope that you all do too. It would be one of the greatest pleasures of my life if one day, I could introduce you to my good friend, Zach Weber.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Read Zach's Words

Zach Says...

Rachel Lasher forwarded us the email Zach wrote to her when her mom died. She said that it was the one out of tons that she got that she would go back to and read when she was hurting. Thanks for sharing this, Rachel. His words can comfort all of us now.

SUBJECT: Our Citizenship is in Heaven

I can't even begin to imagine what you guys must be thinking and dealing with right now, and I'm so sorry for all of you.... I'm sure you've found some comfort in knowing that she's in heaven and I know it's unbelievably cliche "she's in a better place" but my pastor gave me somewhat of a different twist to it:

John 11:35 - "Jesus wept." I guess the typical idea is that He was sad that Lazarus had died and was grieving with everyone else. But, I don't think that's why; Jesus wept because he knew Lazarus was already in Heaven with the Father, and the idea of bringing him *back* to earth; to take him away from all that, tore Jesus apart.

I can't really explain it as well as it was explained to me, but hopefully you get the idea. I know you must miss your Mom, but just imagine what Heaven must be like, if Jesus was so heartbroken to bring his friend back to earth.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved." -Philippians 3:20-4:1

Aviano AFB's Article (PDF)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Story (LINK)

Valley News Dispatch Story (LINK)

"5 Sec's After You Die" - From Zach's Church (LINK)

Aviano AFB Memorial Service Video (LINK) (NEW!)


Photo Albums

To share your own photos, you can get a free Flickr account if you don't have one, and upload pictures with the tag zachweber.

Anyone's Flickr photos tagged "zachweber"

Funeral and Military Rites (5/5)

Webers in Italy, With Zach's Friends (NEW!)

Aviano AFB Memorial Service (NEW!)


Because Your Love Keeps Me Alive



Day is Done


Our family wishes to extend our thanks to everyone who has surrounded and supported us throughout this time through visits, food, memorial gifts, and cards. The love and support of so many friends and family members has heightened our joy as we've celebrated the fullness of Zach's life.

We particularly want to thank everyone who attended the calling hours and memorial services this weekend.

Zach's body was interred at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Rd, Bridgeville, PA 15017 on May 5 to a 21-Gun Salute and many tears.



The Zachary Weber Memorial Chapel

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Zachary Weber Memorial Chapel Fund, c/o Redmond Funeral Home, 524 High Street, Freeport, PA 16229.

These gifts will be used to restore and renovate the chapel at the Butler, PA Boy Scout camp that Zach attended for many summers, Camp Bucoco. The project will be headed up by one of his pack members, Ethan Boyd.


Memories and Messages

We created this page to be a central place for people to express their memories and messages for and about Zach. For those who knew Zach, we hope that your stories will help paint a more complete picture of who Zach was. Please add your thoughts below.

If you'd like to send a personal email, you can write to forthewebers [at] gmail.com.

78 messages:

Seth said...

You were my wife's protector and best friend growing up. Even though you were younger, Alexa always looked up to you. You ventured out to see the world around you: new music, new places, new experiences... not afraid to take it on. You brought back some of that flavor for us all to experience and enjoy. You were not afraid to be different, standing up for who you were, who you are. You never gave up your faith or your love for God. You were one of the coolest people I knew.

Zach... I never could quite figure out your essence, what your life was about... but now it's too late to tell you about what I see and admire in you. You will be missed tremendously.

Erin said...

Though I didn't know Zach personally, as Kathleen's sister I appreciated his friendship to her these past few months in Italy. She often spoke of him--their fun times on the base, out to dinner, watching Italian movies they didn't understand! Being away from home is hard for any person, but knowing that Zach was there for Kathleen to love and support her meant a lot to me. I just really appreciate that my sister was being watched over while she was far from home.

Someday, I can thank you in person, Zach.

Alexa said...

There are facets of me that only Zach can bring out. No one in the world could make me laugh as hard as my brother could.

I always told Zach, "If you ever died, it would be like a lobotomy... because you have like half of my memories in your head!"

Some of the best times were the late hours just sitting up reminiscing and laughing -- LAUGHING -- at all of the memories that only he and I shared. I know many of those were long ago now, but they are a big part of me.

Who will I share those with now? A part of me died with Zach, in a very literal way.

Until we laugh together again...

Jared. said...

I didn't know him as well as I would have liked to to. Every experience I had with him was a good one. He was a person that was always encouraging. I remember talking to him when my girlfriend broke up with me. Telling me not to worry about it. It helped.

He always made sure I was gonna go play soccer on sundays. although 20 other people already were planning on going. He cared that I was going. He was definately a great friend.

He was sad when I told him I might not make it out to Calcietto on Sunday but then I reminded him that I would see him in two months in California. I was really looking forward to hanging out with him when I finally moved there.

I'll just have to wait a little longer to see him.

Josh said...

I hate it that I'm not goin to be able to play soccer with Zach anymore. I loved his passion for soccer however that was a mere rock in the mountain of love that Zach had for God.

Zach was one of my best friends and I cherish every moment we ever spent together. It has been hard for me to realize that this is'nt goodbye. I feel like I shouldn't cry because I will see him again. Zach was like a brother to me and I can't wait to play soccer with him up in heaven.

No matter if it was playing against him in calcetto or wrestling with him after I made a good play and joked around with him. Anything from playing him in HALO to just hanging out, every moment was awesome. I can't wait to have more moments like that once we meet up again.

You never see any bad things said about people once they are gone. In Zach's case it is not just because no one wants to feel bad it is because I can't think anything I didn't like about him.

I'll see ya when God gives me the gift that hides in the horrors of death. This is Josh letting you know I love you man.

Webby said...

Zach you were the best brother anyone could ever ask for. You taught me so much in your short life.

You and I talked about the craziest things like getting tattoos and our crazy geometry and computer teachers from school. You always pushed me to do my best in school and on the soccer field. I want you to know that everytime I lace up my boots and step out on that field that I'm playing for you and for God.

Rachel sent us a letter that you had written her when her mom passed away..it's still encouraging to her and when I read it I felt encouraged. You're right, I shouldn't wish for you to be here because that would be taking you away from God. You're not only at peace up there but you're playing on the ultimate soccer field and don't worry I'll "keep working on my left foot".

I love you more than you ever knew.

Zach, to a friend, once said...

Rachel Lasher forwarded us the email Zach wrote to her when her mom died. She said that it was the one out of tons that she got that she would go back to and read when she was hurting. Thanks for sharing this.

SUBJECT: Our Citizenship is in Heaven

I can't even begin to imagine what you guys must be thinking and dealing with right now, and I'm so sorry for all of you.... I'm sure you've found some comfort in knowing that she's in heaven and I know it's unbelievably cliche "she's in a better place" but my pastor gave me somewhat of a different twist to it:

John 11:35 - "Jesus wept." I guess the typical idea is that He was sad that Lazarus had died and was grieving with everyone else. But, I don't think that's why; Jesus wept because he knew Lazarus was already in Heaven with the Father, and the idea of bringing him *back* to earth; to take him away from all that, tore Jesus apart.

I can't really explain it as well as it was explained to me, but hopefully you get the idea. I know you must miss your Mom, but just imagine what Heaven must be like, if Jesus was so heartbroken to bring his friend back to earth.

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved." -Philippians 3:20-4:1

Kylie said...

I only met zach once but i know i will never forget that. People always say first impressions are bad but my impression of him was "wow". It all seemed effortless too. He was comfortable with himself and knew he had no one but himself to impress. This is hard to type because of the tears but the inspiration he has instilled in so many people in just a short time is incredible. Not just by these comments do I know this, but of how Webby always talked of him. She was so proud and is still to call him her brother and I'm sure he was just as proud.

he will never be forgotten.

Mom said...

One thing, and just one, that I miss so much is Zach's hugs. Even through those middle school years and continuing thru hs, Zach hugged us. Even at, say, a boy scout event, if we drove up in the car to pick him up, he'd run over to us and give us a hug. And, hugs were frequent at home. How I miss his hugs.

Ethan said...

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do, crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind, All we are is dust in the wind
Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away

Zach,
Even the best fall down sometimes, and you did. Your fall was not one from grace, but one to grace. In your life, you went out of your way to ensure to me the grace that you now know. You carried me on your shoulders Zach, and that’s why I’ll be there to carry you that one last time.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

I Love You

Your Brother

Rachael "Storey" said...

It's difficult for me to write about someone I knew for a brief point in time when so many others knew him for so much longer. Reading the comments other people have left here makes me wish I known Zach more than I did. I met him when we were in tech school. Joining the military was a little difficult for me. Making friends is maybe the most difficult part of it. I was lucky enough to meet a group of amazing people at Keesler(Mississippi) and Sheppard(Texas) and he was one of the group. We all had a lot of fun goofing around and having fun when we weren't in class. I remember him seeming a little quiet at first but after being around him more, I saw what a wonderful guy he was. He always seemed to be in a good mood, always laughing and always joking around and having fun. When he wasn't around, we didn't seem to have as much fun. I was sad to say goodbye to everyone as we all headed off to different parts of the world after tech school. Every once in a while though, I saw pictures and heard about Zach's adventures in Europe. I never thought something like this would have happened. Especially to someone like him. He seemed to be one of those people you meet and just know that they are special and are truly blessed. He was able to see what he wanted to and do what he wanted to do without regret or restraint. It is so rare to meet someone as awake to life and as real as he was. I am so happy that I was able to meet this amazing person and share some moments in time with him. From Invader Zim to singing stupid songs, I cherish it all. I hope I meet him again someday and hear some more of his jokes.
"My name is Weber,
I have a boat,
I work on airplanes,
I'm really cool."

Shaun said...

Zach was one of the crew. He was at our house almost every Friday night for HABASH (Halo At Ben And Shaun's House). He was there for a while the night before he died, the last Friday night HABASH he'll ever attend. His words were powerful in his email about his friend's mother's death. He and I knew each other on mainly a surface level. Our greatest thing to talk about was the Office. He was always the one I looked foward to watching the new episode with the most because I knew he and I would catch all the same subtleties that others might miss. He was sarcastic and we played off of each other. He had a contagious laugh. The last movie I saw with him was in Slovenia when 9 of us drove in my van for a movie day/laser tag. He will always be the first friend I have ever lost. And above all, I have peace knowing he truly is in a far more amazing place than this place now. I continue to pray for peace with his family as I'm sure they have suffered far beyond any other. Goodbye Zach and know that HABASH and it's crew will never be the same without you.
-Shaun Chauta

Anonymous said...

Zach will be truly missed, by all his family and many friends. I served as Zach's homeschool evaluator for many years, and I'm a longterm friend of the family. What I'm remembering most is the true enjoyment of the three Weber siblings when they all had the chance to be together. I remember images of them all playing jubilantly in their family pool, with Zach lifting his happy sisters onto his shoulders for tosses into the water. Lots of photos of hugs among all the family and friends.

In my own religious tradition of Judaism there is a story that each person should always carry two pieces of paper, one in each pocket. On one would be written, "I am but dust and ashes", and on the other should be written "For my sake the whole world was created." At different points in our lives, we need the message of both of these messages. Zach, we all may be just dust and ashes, but the whole world needed you and was blessed by your presence here. May your memory always be for a blessing.

With love,

Susan Richman

Kyle said...

To die in Christ, is to gain all. Till we meet again my friend...

Thank you

Mom said...

As Zach's family we are all growing in the belief that Zach did not die in an accident, but God took him for a reason.

I would like to encourage you, as his very dear, dear, dear friends, to search your hearts as to what Zach might be saying to you at this time. Did God take him now for a purpose? Is that purpose to commit your life to God's ways, to His Son, and to stop making excuses, stop questioning, fearing, procrastinating and just get on with it? Do you need to just step out in faith and COUNT ON GOD?

Will you join us in our decision to not let Zach's death be in vain in our lives?

I also want you to know that we are all so fine here; we are celebrating his life, his faith, his God. If you are struggling, we are praying for you already. We want to minister to you. Seek us out, we are here for you!

Anonymous said...

We played dinosaurs, and had great times at your house and in church. I only wish we would have kept in touch. It is truly my loss.

It is of great relief that you are with our Lord.

Someday we will meet again.

-Jessica Frederick

Chris McGrady said...

Zach was an inspiration to me. It was the way he embraced life and everything in it that made him stand out as special. He did not embrace it just because it was the ‘thing to do’ or because he was a ‘good’ person or because he wanted to impress people or even earn their respect. I believe he embraced it because that is what he knew God wanted him to do, so he lived life with a purpose – a purpose of bringing glory to His Lord, Master, and Savior. He lived with a motto of Colossians 3:17 – “whatever you do, in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, the Father, through Him.” As a result of living “on purpose” he touched many lives in many ways. Most notably are those whom he impacted for the kingdom of Christ – and we will not know the full extent of his impact until we are at the feet of Jesus as well. Words from a simple song that I know say this: “Life’s too short to be lukewarm…Jesus, You can have it all, my every breath…” – Zach believed this and lived it.

I had the privilege of being Zach’s high school soccer coach at Freeport High School. I loved the way that Zach played soccer – he was a motivator, a leader, a hard-worker, relentless, coachable, respectful, and just a true gentleman. I loved this young man, and am honored to be considered his friend. I cannot say enough about the ways in which he earned respect from me. I know that those for whom he worked in the Air Force would say the same things about him.

I am grieving with Zach’s wonderful family, but I cannot comprehend the extent of their loss. I do know this – those of us who have experienced the forgiveness of Christ do not grieve as those who have no hope – for we have Christ in us, the Hope of glory. I urge you – and I know Zach would too - don’t let another moment go by without inviting Christ into your life!

Coach McGrady (and family)

Kelly said...

I never knew Zach that well, but I remember one Thanksgiving evening when Alexa was holding me and everytime Zach looked at me, I'd turn away and laugh. He would laugh too and that would just make me laugh even harder. At Alexa and Seth's wedding I remember seeing him walking down the isle with his sword at hand. So many memories with him that I loved. Even though he's "at his real home" he will always have a place in my heart where he is always welcome...we miss you Zach...so, so much.

Adam said...

I went to school with Zach for only one year, but I have so many memories with him over that year. He was one of the most positive people I have ever met. Zach had a great sense of humor. It was a privilege to be around him. He knew at the end of the day that there was more to life. One of the best memories that I have with Zach is playing soccer together. He played the game with a great passion. Even if we lost he still would say something that would make me smile or laugh. He was a great person, and a great man of God. I only wish that we would have kept more in contact over the years. I do know that one day we will see each other again. I look forward to seeing him again.

-Adam Ford

Stephanie W said...

I met Zach at church (CCF) he was so nice and welcomed me to youth group. Being younger than him not knowing many people, he talked to me at church so he knew who i was. He was so talented and hilarious. he treated me like a little sister so of he tended to pick on me, but stuck up for me too.. He could always bring a smile to my face. He always had an answer for what they asked at youth group and it was "JESUS?" lol it was so funny and randomly put in.. He brought a different factor to youth group.. he actually came up with youth groups name "ECHO" reflecting the voice of God.. he was an amazing man of god, and you could tell by his actions. When i heard about what happened and that i would never see zach again, i just couldn't believe it, but i really didn't want to believe it. He is in Heaven and i know i will see him again. It just makes you appriciate life more.. he always appriciated life and accomplished so much that he wanted to do.. He was an amazing person. and I will miss him tremendously!
Till I See You Again Zach

i will never forget is answers "jesus?"

Anne said...

Knowing Zach was a joy. From a first impression you could see the love that radiated in him. He was always such an encouragment to me and we always had the most meaningful conversations.

He made me see the world through different eyes than my own. He made me take my actions into account even when I knew there was no way he would know if I said a curse word here in the states. Zach made me desire to know God more every day.

A few weeks before he died I felt a need to express to him how instrumental he had been in my life and that of my husbands. I am so glad that we had him as a friend. He supported us through so many hard times and reminded us not to give up on God.

If ever there were a modern day David it would be Zach. He was an example for me and the driving force to get back to God after a really rough patch of life. He never judged me for the things I said or did, only gently counciled as a friend and believer.

Zach continues to be a driving force in my life after his death. His death was a reminder of how short our time on earth is and how important living a life pleasing to God is.

I want Zach's family to know how much he meant to my family and how much we loved him. He helped me forgive when I didn't think it was possible and reminded me always of God's eternal love. I miss him.

Brandon Showers said...

Zach no matter how hard I try to be uspet all I think about is the time we spent at the park practicing and as not only teamates but friends and almost brothers. I am so happy my life was affected by you and that I took the time to get to know you and become a friend of yours. Tonight talking to my mom I reminded her of when I was taken to the hospital after getting hit in the head (of course) at the Riverview game and you took time out of your day to drop off my eqipment and just see how I was doing. I regret it now but all I could think to do is ask how the game went not to truly thank you for everything. This I guess would be me telling you THANK YOU! I really can not wait untill you and I are together playing soccer on the greenest, flatest, and most wel grommed field. I may of made up some words there but you know what I meant. So as it is said this is not goodbye it is far from it it's just see you later. Save a spot on the roster for me bud!

Alexa said...

Zach... these lines from our wedding script really make me think of you. You knew how it would all end -- you knew life was just a vapor -- and so you were able to truly live and be free.

A story is only as good as its ending. If for all practical purposes we believe that this life is our best shot at happiness, we will place on this world a burden that it was never meant to bear.

Even the best human life is still full of unspeakable sadness. Even if we manage to escape some of the bigger tragedies (and few of us do), life rarely meets our expectations. When we do get a taste of what we really long for, it never lasts. Every vacation eventually comes to an end. Friends move away. Even the most blissful human love leaves the best of us wanting.

We long for something better. We long for a Happily Ever After. Our hearts reach for these, and God has promised all of them, saying, “Behold! I will make all things new.” The ending is written on our hearts.

And because we know the ending, we can be free to enjoy the story. Because we know the ending, we can truly live, today, free to enjoy this life for what it is. It is a shadow of something even greater and better that is yet to come.

Bobbi said...

Zach
I tried so hard to think of something witty to say; like you would, but just can't right now. I will forever chersih your duct-tape creations you have made me, all the times you made me laugh and especially the soccer skills you TRIED to teach me. You always called me your lil sis ( because I looked Korean remember) and thats what you will always be- my big brother. THanks for all the emails and trying to solve my problems even though you were in italy.... You have to be in Jesus' presence right now so I am resting in that. You were a great example, a great man of God, and most of all a great friend ( brother ) to me. You will be missed, but Im glad you chose the road less taken and are with Our Father.
Love you

The other Zach said...

Zach was an Awesome bro. i met him through shaun, we played soccer, and went to church, and of course HABASH. Zach really meant alot to me. He was one i too could joke with and share interests with. He was a great soccer player, and i am not. so we'd joke about that alot. The one thing i will always remember is playing football with him in front of shauns house. Zach was covering me, and i remember catching the ball on a break, but then zach caught up SO fast, and he slammed me into the ground. We all laughed, im going to miss those times. He was at my going away dinner before i left. The bros bought me a football. I loved what zach wrote. "I love you" - the other zach. So in return....
I Love You Too. I'll really miss you Zach.

FASA said...

From Freeport Area Soccer Association

Over the years, Zach Weber was a role model to all the players, coaches and referrees involved with Freeport Soccer. His skill was unsurpassed on the field. He set the bar high but showed others what they could accomplish with hard work and dedication. Zach was a role model off the field as well as on. His dedication to God and his family shine as an example to each of us. Zach will be deeply missed in our organization. Those of us who knew him will carry his memory forward in our association
Our thoughts and prayers are with Zach's family and friends during this difficult time. All games played this weekend will be dedicated to his memory.

Because He Was So Impressed Ethan said...

that what Chris McGrady said was glorious.

Selah

Chris said...

Zach, I would give anything just to have one last conversation with you. This will have to do.

You were the example for living, which I tried to emulate since the day we became friends a mere decade ago. You were my spiritual rock through so many struggles, truly the most selfless person I have ever known. You were always there to ground me when I was being prideful, but there to encourage me when I was down. I wish I could have been half the friend to you that you were to me. Even when months would pass where we weren’t able to speak, when we saw each other, we just picked up where we left off. I can’t wait for the day in which we meet again, because I know we will resume our friendship as if nothing happened. But something has happened; the seeds you planted throughout our friendship are taking root. I only realized this when I was finally able to make peace with God for taking you. In this way you have impacted me profoundly, and the results will truly be eternal.

Zach, you were a man with many questions, I know that these questions are finally being answered. Write the answers down, because I have the same questions, we’ll save God some time.

I know correspondence was difficult, and sparse, these past few months, and for that, I have much regret. If you could somehow hear me know, I want to say thank you for your life Zach, my best friend, my brother.

-Chris

Rachel said...

Hi, I'm Rachel, Kathleen's best friend. Although I haven't seen Zach in years, I remember some of our times at Creation and Creation work weekends well. Zach was an amazing guy. He was beyond his years. I truly am blessed to have known such a great guy that this world has lost too soon. I was looking through some old Creation photos and found one of a work weekend and we're like 14.. so young, but we had so much fun.

Zach, you were a great guy. I am so glad that you were in Italy with Kathleen. You've gone home now and one day I'll get to hug you in person for being there with her. Thanks for being you. I can only hope to be half the person you were.

Anonymous said...

My memories are of a younger Zach.
Little league, boy scouts, lego's, DUCT TAPE, and really wierd hair!
I'm proud to have known Zach. It takes a confident ans secure person to "Do your own thing" and he did.
I'm having a hard time getting a handle on this but it's such a comfort to know that he's with our Lord.
When my Mom died the Pastor at the funeral made this analogy. Death is like leaving on a boat trip. As you leave this shore the people you leave are saying good-bye and will miss you. Then you see the other shore and it is loaded with people who have been waiting for you and are excited to see you. Zach's boat sailed sooner than we expected but what joy was had on the other side!
Janet Morris, family friend

Rich Whitcroft said...

I remember Zach as a young man when my son (Kyle) would talk and hang out with him. He was a precious man of God. When I heard the news it took my breath away yet to realize that there is purpose in this event as in all the events that touched Zach life as well as the events that touch each of our lives. I am trusting God will reveal the purpose for all to see. I have read the blogs as well as the myspace posts. It is easy to see the impact that Christ made in Zach's life as well as the impact that Zach made in the lives of others. Zach will be missed in this life but we will see him again.

Willie Whitcroft said...

Though I really didn't know Zach well. I do remember that he alway had a smile that lit up the room where he was

Vernon A. Choate said...

I never really knew Zach, but I have been his father's friend since 1965. I have carried Zach (his family picture) with me since 1990 and 1st meet him July 7, 1991 in Green County, PA. I will not know him further but for all of you - those he touched - so he lives on here - now. May God grant you all Peace.

Anonymous said...

hey zach i havent talk to u since highschool i still remeber all the times we were in cub scouts together that was so long ago but we had some good times, atleast when god found it right for u to go back home he let u do one last thing that u loved to do.. save a seat up there for me bud and when I get up there we will have a lifetime to reflect on ourlives and talk about all the good and bad things that happened until we get to talk again bud u will always be in our hearts

Natalie said...

Dear Webers,

In Indianapolis I words on a memorial set up for Eli Lilly. It said:

To God be the Glory, with thanksgiving for the wonder of life.

I will thank God for blessing your lives with your time with your son.

My prayers are with all of you.
Natalie Bishop

Jim & Jeanne Swaskoski said...

Our hearts go out to Zach's family in this time of sadness, but yet we rejoice in knowing where Zach is at. Praise God you will see him again! He won the race, he beat us there, but someday we shall be with him in Glory!

Rob said...

Zach, buddy....I heard the horrible news! Man you were such a great friend when I was in Aviano with you. You were always the nicest person and you were always in a awesome mood. It was great working directly with you too at work. You were a hard worker and new your stuff, man. You were sharp. Your definately going to be a loss to everyone who knew you. Take care buddy and you'll Always be missed, Rob Blackburn

Rachel said...

So I was reading through Zach's old blogs and I found this

"My first highschool game.
I didn't score a goal, give a game winning assist or make a spectacular tackle. Nope, not me-I got carded. In the first 4 minutes actually."

It made me laugh so hard, I remember Zach telling me about this game. He was so proud even though he never had to be the center of attention, the reason they won a game or the person everyone was looking at but he did everything with passion. I always teased Zach because he was good at everything the first time he tried it. It's because he didn't do anything half heartedly. I will miss Zach a lot and he will always have a special place in my heart. Weber family I'm praying for you, I love you guys.

Hali said...

dear zach and family,

you all have been a great part of my life. i remember all of the times i would come over and play with sam. zach was always there. i remember always having the biggest crush on him. the webers have been friends with my family for as long as i can remember. i love every single one of the webers, including zach. it's hard to believe that all of this has happened, but it's good that he is in a great place now. sam, alexa, alice, and jim, i will always be here for you guys. if you need anything, you can come to me and my family. i love you all. i'll be praying for you. zach, rest in peace. i know you are in a wonderful place now. my family and i love you and will always have a place for you in our hearts.



Love, Hali Morris

Airman First Class Ronnie Harris, 555th AMU, coworker said...

I knew Zach for 2 years here in Aviano and I know for a fact that nothing negative could be said about him. He was always enjoyable to work around, telling humorous stories and making the long work hours seem to go by quickly...His passion, intensity, and love for soccer was awesome, highly noticeable during the World Cup tournament last summer. I know he's up there still laughing at the fact that I was almost lit on fire in Pordenone Square. I didn't have a clue the player on my jersey was French. It's hard to believe and accept that he's gone, but I know he's in a better place and looking out for all of us. His presence as a friend, co-worker and soccer enthusiast will be greatly missed. Zach will always be in my heart and someday I know we'll meet again.

In The Vigileer publication of the 31st Fighter Wing, Tech Sgt Rob Donnelly, 31st AMXS Flight said...

I had the honor of working with Zach on 2 different aircraft for about 3 weeks at a time. The work we were doing had us TDY to Hangar One as a 2-man team assisting techs in a major replacement of crew station explosive lines. It involved removing and replacing parts that we normally don't deal with. Zach never had a problem with doing the work; he actually seemed to relish the task of doing something new. It was reassuring to know that I had such a motivated and talented maintainer working with me. When we were finished with each of the aircraft, I knew we had delivered a safe jet back to the AMU.
I can say that he was not only an exceptional airman and avionics technician, he was a pleasure to be around as a person. He always had a smile on his face, and seemed to enjoy everything he was involved in. He touched the lives of who he met, and he will be deeply missed.

In The Vigileer publication of the 31st Fighter Wing, Tech. Sgt. Brian Hazelton, 555th AMU said...

I worked with Airman Weber from Jan 06 until he passed away last week. During this time, I found Zach to be the model of what an Airman in today's Air Force should be. Zach was an extremely hard worker who performed at a level above his rank. He tackled the toughest of jobs with confidence, knowing he would get the airplane fixed no matter what it took. I knew that when I sent him to work on one of our aircraft it was going to get fixed right the first time.
We will all miss Zach greatly and the Air Force...has lost a great asset; however, we in the Nickel Specialist flight know Zach will always be with us and never forgotten.

Anonymous said...

We will always think of Zach as a young man with the smiling face. I can still remember him romping and hiding in the tall grass behind his home as he and his team taped their skit for English Festival. They were working hard, yet having fun. Zach was a polite and kind young man. He remembered for his smiles and his enthusiasm for life.
Judy Policicchio (family friend)

Justi said...

Psalm 116:15 says "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." What a precious sight it was for Jesus Christ and His Father to see Zach arrive in his home. I will remember Zach as the zealous soccer player who had cool hair and a cute smile. He made an impact on my husband's life as well as many others and that is what I will remember him for most. As my husband said, we don't grieve as those who have no hope. Because this life here on earth is so short and we'll get to see that smile again. I will continue to pray for you all. Justi, Coach McGrady's wife

Lynn said...

Musings of a mom… (Zach’s other mom) “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17

Twins separated at birth; that’s what we used to say. They met one another when they were just nine years old. We marveled at how it could be possible for two boys to be more alike. Zach’s mom and I used to spend hours on the phone (when we should have been doing other things!) talking about them. Sometimes we were laughing, and other times we cried in frustration. Thinking back, the things they gave us to cry about were minor indeed.

When they were younger they spent hours together building “stuff.” We often didn’t know what those creations were, but they were sure proud of the “stuff” they built. We loved the times that Zach spent with us; he was so polite and kind even to the younger sisters and brother who seemed to always want to hang around. We enjoyed hearing the stories of the adventures they took when Christopher spent time at his house. As they got older, we laughed at how Zach’s mom coerced them into mowing their many acres.

We homeschooled them together, and then sent them off to their first “real” school experience together in the eighth grade. That “real school experience” was supposed to punish them for being such “difficult” home school students. They complained all summer about how awful it was for us to punish them that way. I’ll never forget that first day of school as Alison and I talked on the phone (for hours again!) and paced the floor. We worried that we should never have sent them off to school. Wouldn’t you know… they both arrived home at the same time and promptly regaled us with stories about how much they loved school?! Humph…no punishment for them! We were secretly relieved that it turned out to so well.

Zach and Chris went to the Air Force together. I can still see Zach and remember how proud we were of him during his swearing-in ceremony. We knew he would make our country proud. While he was in Italy, he still had time for us and would drop us an email or postcard now and again.

Together we shared almost every joy and disappointment of these guys. We shared our love for each other’s sons. I have such profound emptiness at the loss of this fine young man, yet I have such profound joy at the impact he made on so many lives. Such joy can only be found because of the joy of the Lord. Thank you to the Weber family for allowing us to share your son and your lives! Thank you Zach for the eternal legacy you left. We miss you!

~Lynn

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11

Matt K said...

Zach,
It was truly a blessing to have gotten to know you in the few years we spent together in high school. I think my best memories were from my senior year when I got talked into trying to play soccer. I had no idea what I was doing, but you were there to help me and guide me along. I looked up to you and admired you not only for your athletic talent, but for your strength as an individual, your passion for everything you were involved in, and your steadfast faith in God. Although we never really kept in touch other the occasional email, you would pop up in my thoughts, as I always wondered what great things you must be experiencing in Italy. Although it really saddens me that we’ll never be able to go back to those days of messing around in study hall, I’ll always be able to close my eyes and hear your laugh. If only the world were full of more men like you. Most live long lives and never leave a scratch. In 21 years you made your mark on the world and touched so many of the lives of those who were blessed enough to have known you. I will miss you Zach, but I am Glad that the Lord has called you home. Until we meet again...
-Matt

Wes said...

Zach,

I met you through your mom and dad. We were new to church, and your folks "took us in". You didn't take much notice of me, as I was just another goofy adult. However, I noticed you. No, it wasn't your hair. And no, it wasn't that twinkle in your eye that hinted of a joke yet to be told. It was your love for the Lord, Zach. I didn't just see it; I could feel it! When other young guys were looking for somewhere to hide during a hymn, there you were, singing with everything you had. Yeah, I felt it.

As we got to know your mom and dad better, they filled in the details. Things like Creation, and how you loved it so. But I already knew how special you were.

Your work is completed here, Zach, and now you are with our Lord. Are you singing?

Having children of my own, I can't half imagine what your family is feeling right now. But I do know this...when I see them, they will be ministering to me! How dear they are!

Until I see you again...

Wes

Anonymous said...

Mr. Rodden [Zach's other Dad]


Zach, You have left a legacy in your short time with us that will carry on for generations to come. We were all blessed to know you.

My memories are fond and many but I'll keep it short, as you are celebrating. The duct tape wallet, your constant smile and great attitude, your weekends staying at our home, the vacation shared with the Conrads and our family,and most of all watching you play soccer from the sidelines at Evangel Heights.

Your time has arrived and I can only say I loved you as a son.
Thank you for being a part of my life. The gates have swung open wide for you, now go and join in the feast, This is the invitation to all.

Chris


"Be still and know that He is God,be still and know that He is holy" Psalm 46:10

Mom said...

When we got to Aviano AFB last week, our first stop was to meet the Commanding General, Robert Yates and his gracious wife, Barbara. How could he know how we were handling the news? I wanted to help him out, and interrupted him to do so: "Sir, you're the guy here who makes all the decisions and sends out all the orders. I imagine that those downline from you don't always like all your orders, maybe some think they're misguided, maybe some get angry about them. But, you know what the objectives are here, you know all the parameters and have the big picture so you're orders stand. We think it's similar with what happened to our son. God sent down the order to us, "Let him go. I have need of Zach now." Considering the character of God, his goodness, his wisdom, his love for us proven by the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for us, well, we're good to go with those orders!" Of course those orders were quite contrary to our plans for our son, but we trust our God with all our heart, mind, and soul." And, there's no doubt in our mind that Zach was thrilled to be swept off the mountain by the hand of God and swooped up to heaven.

And so we are rejoicing in Zach's life. I learned that all of my prayers for my son in terms of his character, integrity, and love for others, and our homeschool motto, "Do whatever it takes to get the job done," came to fruition while he served our country in one of the most beautiful places on earth. {Aviano AFB borders the enormous and beautiful Italian Alps (the Dolomites)} What a great life he had and now, it's like God has said to our well-traveled son, "Come on, I've really got some incredible places to show you!"

Andrew Moon said...

While I feel privileged to have met Zach a few times, I knew him primarily through the stories Alexa and the family would tell. Alexa would talk of their many escapades and adventures when they were little, the "Calvin and Hobbes"-like world in which they lived. I remember when Alexa made her toast to Zach at the wedding; it was only then, when I heard the love in Alexa's voice for Zach, that it struck me how much he meant to her. I remember the parents talking of the adoption process - what it's like to finally bring a child home; and that's when I realized how much both he (and Alexa) must have meant to them.

I was really sad and struck when I heard about Zach's death. As I continue to figure out how to mourn for him, I am encouraged by his legacy, and the attitude and selflessness of his family.

Zach, even though I didn't know you too well, I'm sad that I'll never get to see you again, and I'll never see what you could've become. Your Mom reminds me of God's hand, that this is all motivated by His love and providence. And I'm further reminded by the letter you wrote that you are with God - you are in a far better place than we are. So even though I'm sad and confused, I'll trust in these things that I believe in.

Mindy E said...

I remember a conversation Zach and I had after his Eagle Scout ceremony and I was struck by his character. What a wonderful job mom and dad 'training your child in the ways of the Lord'. He had a code for life that excelled his dreams. His was a heaven bound agenda that was going to last through all the time he would be here on earth and what a way God worked through Zach ! The words shared here prove that over and over. And God still has more for Zach to do in that great adventure he is living in now ! Saddle up your horse Zach, you are riding high now. With every eagle that I see fly, I will think of Zach and his flight in life.

I am glad your friend will be working on the chapel at Camp Bucoco. My brothers went there as scouts. Fun place.

You are much remembered and much loved by so many friends and family, a testimony to the man you are Zach. Rest my brother.

Mrs. Eck

Anonymous said...

Though I did not know Zachary personally, my fiance told me many great things about him. I have prayed for all of the people affected by this in Aviano, and his family. GOD BLESS YOU ALL FOR SUPPORTING HIM!!!!

Kathleen McIntosh said...

Isn't it amazing how you remember things at the most inconvenient times? So frequently in the past few months, Zach and I would try to remember details about our many childhood memories, yet we would always in some way fall short. Now that I can't stop by his room and tell him, "Hey! I remember!", these once forgotten details come flooding back. Life can seem unfair. It seems unfair that I wasn't at his funeral back home, sharing about who Zach was to me and his friends here in Italy, but how unfair for those that didn't get to experience him and all that he was in his last few months. For some reason, God blessed me, of all people, with Zach's last 4 months. Life doesn't seem so unfair now.

Rudee said...

To the Weber family,
I first want to express my deepest sympathies for your loss of such a wonderful person. I must admit, I hardly knew Zach, to me he was the long haired boy who fought to play and said hello to me in passing.
I just wanted to say how much your family and Zach's death has deeply impacted my own faith. As a theology major, no class or professor has ever taught me as much about God and faith as your family. When I first heard about Zach's death, my first thought was of you and how much grief you all must be suffering. When I logged on to this website, I saw that suffering was not the case. Your joy in knowing that Zach is in his true home and your rejoicing in that life that he led has genuinely affected me. God has truly blessed you with not only Zach but of truly living lives in the light and love of our Lord. And it is so strongly accentuated in the devoted, amazing and adventurous life that Zach lived. Your family and Zach have truly opened my eyes to what it means to live a life of faith. I give you all my sincere thanks for the valuable life lesson you and Zach have taught me. My thoughts and prayers will always be with you.
God Bless,
Rudee Dilick

Mom said...

Something I’ve been needing to share here – the “tender mercies” of our God. It was 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 21st, 2007. I’d been up, made some coffee and, following my normal routine, was ready to sit down for some devotional time. I’d been mostly working in my Gospel Transformation workbook, but I’d heard a sermon on the radio earlier in the week, and although I couldn’t even remember what the sermon was about now, I did recall a mental note I’d made to read in 2 Corinthians 1. So I opened my Bible and began reading. 2 Cor 1:5 jumped out at me as though in neon lights, “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”
.” I reread the verse several times trying to think how it might apply to me – there were some things in my life that had been painful, did it have to do with these? I wasn’t sure, but I was going to jot the verse down and think on it some more because I couldn’t seem to tear my mind away from it. I read on about how when God comforts us, it prepares us to be able to comfort others, about the tender mercies of God, and the prayers of his people that uphold us.

At 5:30 EST, a car pulled up into our driveway with two uniformed Air Force officers. You know the news we got, just 3 days before we would have been picking Zach up at the Pittsburgh Airport. We couldn’t wait to see him. He couldn’t wait to get home either. We hadn’t seen him since Christmas 2005 as we encouraged him to use his leave time for touring Ireland and England and Wales last fall.

The officers told us Zach’s fall had occurred about 1 pm Italy time. Later that evening, I realized that would have been 7 a.m. our time, then I recalled what I’d been reading and how compelling the verses were. Now I knew why. And, I knew that 10 ½ hours before we would hear the dreadful news, God was already preparing me. I was just on the brink of living with not the worse thing that could ever happen but on the brink of something that was going to be more of a mountain-top experience.

Note: In the future, I will be trying to explain how I’ve come to view my precious, precious son’s death in this way. For now, perhaps you’d like to read the 10 verses that God led to read:

2 Corinthians 1
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 Corinthians 1

1Paul, (A)an apostle of (B)Christ Jesus (C)by the will of God, and (D)Timothy our brother, To (E)the church of God which is at (F)Corinth with all the saints who are throughout (G)Achaia:
2(H)Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3(I)Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and (J)God of all comfort,

4who (K)comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

5For just (L)as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

6But if we are afflicted, it is (M)for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;

7and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that (N)as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

8For (O)we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our (P)affliction which came to us in (Q)Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

9indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;

10who (R)delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He (S)on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,

11you also joining in (T)helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by (U)many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

Sarah Lusby said...

A human life is a story told by God. ~Hans Christian Andersen

Zach, you're story amazes me. Thank you for serving our country. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family with mine. And even though time heals all grief, I'll never forget you. Know that I will watch over Sam on and off the field. I'm playing for you now.

See you later, my friend.

Jess R. said...

Hey there Zach,
Your burial was beautiful and moving. The military salute rang clear on a rainy day; it may have been closure to your earthly life, but it was also a new memory to add to the collection of deep impressions you've left for us.
You were always Chris' best friend and that made you an older brother to me; a perfect addition to the fam! I'll never forget looking up to you guys in the CCF youth group forever ago-trying to be cool like you guys, the weber/rodden ski tirp, and the fun vacations. Your steadfast faith was and still is apparent, even just through reading the personal blogs you made. It seems like you never missed an opportunity to inspire someone, whether you knew you were or not:) Thank you for being a true brother to Christopher-we miss you incredibly and will see your smile again, eventually.
* Your (other) lil sis, Jess *
P.S. How are the soccer teams up there?

Hannah Richman said...

Zach,

I think the best way I could put this is in your words.

It's funny the things you find after you lose someone. While looking around my old myspace, I found this message:

Dec 25 2005 7:55P
Hey Baby,
Just thought I'd let you know that's it's pretty werid being home for the holidays without you. The family misses you too, werid huh? ;-)
-Zach

I feel like that says almost everything I wish I could say. Like this:

May, 2007
Hey Zach,
Just thought I'd let you know that it's pretty weird being home without you. The family misses you too. Weird, huh?
-Hannah

Zach, you are really sincerely incredibly missed.

Your addopted baby sister,

Hannah

Steve B said...

I worked with Zach at Aviano before I left the military and he was quite this individual to work with. He was on my mid shift after we all returned from Iraq and he stepped up with any job I had for him. I was deeply saddened by his loss as everyone else was, but I know Zach is looking over everyone he cares for. He will be missed, but I'm sure he misses us as much as we miss him...

Zach's mom said...

Where we are 6 months later -- with Zach's younger sister, and soccer-olympic hopeful, Samantha, because of a game-related concussion, out of school for several months and no longer allowed to play her sport -- continuing to have a difficult year - but, actually, when you know you are in the hands of a loving God, nothing can seem that bad. So, this is the way I see things: God's writing a novel (His-story). Every good story has certain elements to it - crisis or conflict especially. And out of that particular element, each character must emerge as either a hero or a villain or a coward. The greatest thing and the most unique thing about this story is that the author, God, actually enters his own story as the Hero, who dies to save the day and then is resurrected to eternal life bringing all who will believe in Him along with him. Then there are all these smaller plots going on in his big story and in each one, I think, we get to choose whether we will die to ourselves and all of our expectations and hopes and count on Him, follow Him, and end in victory! I cannot wait to get the completed book!

Zach's Mom said...

Twelve months, one year since the car with the AF license plate pulled into the driveway. You know how everyone remembers where he was when he heard the news of the terrorist attack on the twin towers in NYC on 9/11 or for those a bit older, when JFK was killed? If anyone close to Zach would like to share where you were when you heard about Zach, I'd like to hear your story.

Mom said...

Zach would be 23 years old today on earth, but in heaven he is timeless, formed in the mind of God before the creation of the world. We celebrate knowing you and our God and His Son, Jesus.

stephanie said...

time has flown by since april 21st 2007 now i find myself in a different country and there are many times that i think or zach i don´t know if it is the songs, or things i see... and today i was on the internet and it dawned on me wow its been so long, and then i looked and was like woah the time has flown bye one year and four months, and his birthday too... 23... there are so many things i miss about him, but i know he is the lucky one celebrating his life with jesus...

Alison Weber said...

I miss you.

Alison Weber said...

Veterans Day. You did good, Zach. You did a great job for our country and we are proud of you.

Alison Weber said...

We missed you through the holidays, but what Alexa wrote on your MySpace was entirely accurate. We were able to celebrate the holidays at home w/o being overcome with grief because we are genuinely thrilled for you to be with the Lord.
You know one thing I do miss - is coming out to my desk the morning after my birthday to find a gift from you. I wish I'd gotten you to explain why you never said Happy Birthday to me on my birthday and always, stealthily I must say, would have a gift - something personal of yourself - to greet me the next morning? Guess I'll always puzzle over that. You were a truly great gift-giver though! I love you, Zach.

Alison Weber said...

Two years has gone fast Zach. Though we're happy for you, we haven't liked going on without you. We won't ever like going on without you through so many life events we thought you'd be part of. Nothing is complete without you with us, and yet we don't despair. Your own faith encourages us. I hear an echo of "Well done, good and faithful servant....You've been a man after my own heart."

Alison Weber said...

Guess what? Brandon is a dad and he named his son Zach! Guess who he was thinking of? He's gorgeous, lots of hair.

Alison Weber said...

So, Zach, were you serious about missing the dog?

Alison Weber said...

Zach, We miss you so much. You are always "the mising piece" to our lives. We are like a jigsaw puzzle that is never complete because the one piece is lost and you were such an important piece! But, you are not lost and one day all the pieces will be together, Lord willing!

I love you. Mom

Alison Weber said...

Three years! Zach, that is just too long. We're ready to be reunited, but ...we'll just keep waiting..one day we will be! Saw Mr. Mr. McGrady this evening at a political rally which was cool. No one has forgotten you! You'd be surprised to see me involved with political stuff but I was before you guys came along. Actually gave a speech tonight for Sam Rohrer for Governor at a political rally. You'd be proud of my involvement -- I'm running for a committee seat too. We all need you .. probably your dad most of all - find a way and send him something. I love you! Mom

Alison Weber said...

Ah, Zach, Sam leaves for Grove City College tomorrow! I want to share some words of wisdom to mark this new beginning, and thought I might find something you'd written to give to her, but nothing has stood out. Remember we thought you and Sam might have gone to the same college and even overlapped a year? That would have been sweet. She misses you Zach; we all do.

Alison Weber said...

Well, Zach, the ole empty nest is finally upon me, but, hehe, I finally got one of you at Grove City. If you'd decided to not re-enlist I think you might be there too now and how cool would that have been for you and Sam to be on the same campus!

Your dad is out in Illinois for 2 weeks and it's cold, snow on the ground, Mekia's gone - cancer, so it is very quiet here. But, it's okay too, I'm "abiding" more and more and look forward to heaven. I had this notion recently about what fellowship might be like in Heaven and it's very appealing. Today, I'd just like to give you the biggest hug possible. I don't seem to have a coat that fits right this year, so I'm wearing one of your black fleece ones and it fits pretty well and is warm. Figured you'd think that was pretty funny. We got rid of a ton of clothes of yours (clothes you should have gotten rid of) but we still have a lot too. Maybe one day you'll have a little nephew and I suspect he might be named Zach. He'll get to play with some of your AF stuff just like you used to play with my Army stuff of Mac's.
Well, son, I am sad you won't be here for Christmas. You and Christopher always made everything so much fun. I miss you more than I can put into words. Oh, hey, you remember that play Lex and I wrote that took place in heaven and all the angels were so shocked that Jesus was going to earth as a *man?* There sure are a lot of good memories that keep me going, not to mention the fact that I trust life is perfect cause our God oversees all of it! Merry Christmas to everyone.

Samantha said...

Title: Shadows and Dust

Shadows and Dust; Immortal soul
From dust he came and to dust he returned.
He disappeared in late April;
Showers of tears cover me now.

Standing on the mountaintop,
Staring at the splendor of the blue-glass lake
That reflects Your enchanting beauty
He fell from the heights of earth into Your open arms.

Returning to me in a flag-draped coffin
His homecoming was three days early.
My emotions now recollected in tranquility
Find my soul still cold, my heart still numb.

But as I laid his lifeless body in the ground
And on his tombstone wrote:
Shadows and Dust; Immortal Soul
I remember this is not goodbye; this is just see you later.

Alison Weber said...

Happy 26th Birthday, Zach! Sorry about the tears this morning. Sadness is replaced with happiness though as I remember the joy of being your mom. You had the most *caring and tender heart* of us all. I don't always see things *in the moment* but perceive well afterwards. So I see even more today what a great man of God you were becoming. Pray I can have as sensitive and caring a heart as you do.

Time goes slower here without you. All my love, Mom

Alison Weber said...

(fm my facebook today) I was just chatting w/someone from Aviano and saying how helpful it was that the AF brought our family out to the airbase where Zach had been stationed. I think if we hadn't gone to Aviano and walked where Zach walked, hung out with his awesome friends, climbed up in the planes he worked on, etc., it would have been so much harder. The huge hole in our lives at his loss would have been much greater. So thank you to all Zach's AF friends for your support then and thru these past years too! You probably have no idea how much I love you all! Zach, though you're gone fm this planet, you are still alive to us, and we miss you incredibly, and frequently comment on how much greater every experience we have would be if you were just here!

Alison Weber said...

Seems funny to me that i came to your memorial page now. Was just praying for Sam as she's actually pitching her business to investors this morning. You'd think my prayer would be that they would love her business plans and chuck up beaucoup bucks, but we know the hope of our hearts is not in worldly success -- and so my prayers for her as they were for you and are for Alexa and Seth and others remain that we would know God as He is, be pleasing to Him and find delight in knowing Him and the fellowship of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. Love you, Son - you are so greatly missed - esp on important days and wouldn't it be wonderful if you could see her on the soccer field, or better yet just go kick the ball around together.

Anonymous said...

I saw his grave today as I visited the National cemetery for the first time. I looked for a soldier close to my age, as I too am in the air force. That quote stuck out amidst all the white markers, and I will keep his words with me. I thanked him for his service, and his inspiring words.

Photo taken by Zach in Ireland