Last Thursday, LBCC students and staff loomed around a makeshift memorial site to pay their final respects.
On April 14, at 4:30 p.m. near the forum, a memorial was held for Tom Tyger. Around 50 students, staff, and faculty gathered to pay tribute to Tyger, as well as local veterans and Tyger’s family.
LBCC Instructor Mark Urista welcomed family and friends before student veteran John Maine started the memorial by leading the Posting of the Colors. The memorial’s invocation was led by Chaplain Floyd Bacon, and then LBCC President Greg Hamann took the floor to remember Tyger.
“There is no understanding the situation when we suffer such a loss, but I do believe we need each other,” said Hamann.
After Hamann was done speaking, the LBCC men’s choir, Blue Light Special, sang “Amazing Grace,” while members of the Veterans Club lit and passed out candles to other attendees.
Justen Noll, leader of the LBCC Active Minds Club, spoke about the Active Minds Club and available services, followed by Urista, who shared memories of Tyger.
“He always voted for the underdog,” said Urista. “ In class, he always voted for the group that had the least chance of winning.”
Urista’s speech inspired several more attendees to stand up and recount their favorite memories of Tyger, eliciting both laughter and tears from the audience. Albany’s American Legion presented the flag to Tyger’s family, while Maine spoke again to send out the final roll call and the retirement of colors.
After the memorial, people lingered to leave final notes or flowers for the family and talk more. Refreshments were available in the Hot Shot Cafe, and people lingered to recount memories and remember how much Tyger meant to them.