Estherville witnessed a beautiful - though sad - event Tuesday at the funeral of Staff Sgt. Steve Blass. Everyone learned more about a young man whose dedication to his country was one of the greatest loves of his life, unless, as one speaker said, it would have been his love for his family.
By all accounts, Steve came from an ideal family - better than most. And he carried on the love he saw in his family with his parents, Randy and Carol, and brother Matt, with his own family, Tricia and Hayden.
Present at Tuesday's services were a number of other families - moms and dads, sons and daughters, grandparents. By witnessing the love the Blass family has for each other, they were able to think of how lucky they were to have good families too. Families that grow together, learn together, maybe even argue together. The main point is that they're together.
It was good to see families sharing in the grief of the Blass family. Not only were they sharing their grief, but also pride in what Steve had accomplished in his very short life, and pride in his beliefs and patriotism.
It was a very dignified and respectful ceremony Tuesday with about 1,000 present at the Estherville Lincoln Central High School gymnasium. It was an important learning experience for families attending.
We are indeed very lucky to live in a country that has brave young men like Steve Blass who are not afraid to show their love for their country as well as their love for their family.
If that doesn't give us faith in the future of our country, nothing ever will.