Isakson Pays Tribute to Georgia Marine Slain in Chattanooga Attacks
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today paid tribute to U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Squire K. “Skip” Wells, the 21-year-old Cobb County, Ga., native who was killed during the July 16, 2015, shooting rampage at military sites in Chattanooga, Tenn. Isakson delivered the following eulogy on the floor of the Senate:
“While we have a pause in our business for a moment, I rise to offer a brief but sincere eulogy. At this very moment in Woodstock, Georgia, Skip Wells, United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal, is being buried and being worshiped. Thousands of Georgians are at the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia, to attend his funeral.
“Skip Wells was murdered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 16th while he was doing his duty as a Marine, recruiting people to come into the United States military. Skip graduated from Sprayberry High School just a few years ago, played musical instruments in his church orchestra. He was a great student, had thousands of friends, and was a young man we would all be proud of. His life was taken from us by an enraged person on a religious tear.
“When a young man 21-years-old dies in the prime of life, we ask ‘Why?’ In particular, as one who wears the uniform of the United States Marine Corps, we ask ‘Why?’ It is inexplicable.
“We also know that in the book of Ecclesiastes, it tells us that there is a time for everything; a time to be born, and a time to die. But is there ever really a time for a young Marine's life to be taken? And then it causes us to really think about something.
“As we act in this United States Senate, as we guide our country, hundreds of thousands of young men and women volunteer to wear the uniform of the United States of America, and when they put it on, they never know when that day to die might come. But they have all made the commitment that they are ready, willing and able to die for the country they love, the United States of America.
“To Skip's mother Cathy, to his extended family, to all those that knew Skip, we send our condolences and our best wishes for them to recover over time and heal.
“In Woodstock, Georgia, right now an inscription is being read which I want to read on the floor of the Senate, because these words are comforting, they mean something, and in a time of grief for all of us, I think they are important.
“Skip's mother wanted this as a part of the ceremony. It's entitled ‘To Those I Love.’
‘When I am gone, release me. Let me go
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears, Be
happy, we had so many years.
I gave you my love and you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it's time I traveled alone.
So grieve a while for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a while that we must part
So bless those memories in your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near
with all my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and ‘Welcome You
“The book of John, Chapter 15, 13th verse says this: ‘Greater love hath no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’
“Skip Wells laid down his life for all the people of the United States of America, for his family and his friends. We ask God to bless and bring mercy to his family. We thus ask God to bless the great country that Skip wore the uniform and died for, the United States of America.”
OFFICE OF UNITED STATES SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON
131 Russell Senate Office Building | Washington, DC 20510
phone: 202.224.3643 | fax: 202.228.0724