The story of Mark Eklund, the former Catholic school student killed in Vietnam
This beautiful and inspiring story reminds us the importance of showing love and care to the people in our lives because we can never know when it will end.
Bored Daddy wrote the story of Mark Eklund, a former Catholic student who died during the Vietnam war. The student who couldn’t stop talking in the class had an inspiring story to share and it all linked back to his school teacher.
The teacher started teaching Eklund when he was in the third grade. At the time, he was one of the most talkative students in the classroom and received several warnings from the teacher.
Every time she corrected his behavior, he would make sure to thank her for doing so. But his behavior never changed. One day the teacher even used tapes to shut his mouth as a punishment.
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Eklund was never angry, however. He understood why he was being punished and later even told the teacher, “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!”
Time passed by and Eklund reached grade nine. As fate would have it, the teacher was again assigned to his classroom – this time to teach mathematics.
One day during the class, the teacher sensed frustration and aggression in students with one another because they had been working for long on a new maths problem.
To lighten up their mood, she decided to assign a simple task to them. She asked the students to write the name of each of their friends on it and to write positive things about them.
At the end of the day, she collected all the responses and handed back each student the complete list of all the positive things that other friends had said about them. She immediately sensed the mood of the room lifting up and they were all inspired.
Years later, the teacher returned from her vacation and received a sad news. Eklund had passed away while serving in Vietnam.
She was invited to his funeral, which she attended along with other students whom she taught long ago.
After the end of the ceremony, one of the soldiers approached her and asked if she was Eklund’s maths teacher. When she nodded, he told her that Eklund used to talk a lot about her.
Later, Eklund’s parents informed her that they had found the note she gave him as a student listing all his positives was on him when he was killed. He cherished it dearly throughout his life and was important to him even at the time of his demise.
Sometimes a bond between a teacher and student can be truly exceptional coming out of a place of mutual respect for one another.
Here’s another story about an emotional farewell from a teacher to his student, who tragically died after a drunk driver ran over the 12-year-old child.