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Crosby: Capt. Cyr’s love of life will continue to light the way

Oswego native BrandCyr an Air Force officer was killed plane crash Afghanistan over weekend.  |  submitted

Oswego native Brandon Cyr, an Air Force officer, was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan over the weekend. | submitted

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Updated: June 11, 2013 6:28AM

It was most appropriate that the opening hymn for the funeral of U.S. Air Force Capt. Brandon Cyr would be “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies.”

The second verse seemed especially fitting to honor the memory of this 28-year-old Oswego native who was one of four men killed in Afghanistan April 27 when the MC-12 he was piloting crashed near Kandahar.

“O beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life.”

He had logged 900 hours of combat flying and was on his fourth deployment at the time of the crash.

Family and friends, many in military dress uniforms, gathered Thursday morning to say their goodbyes at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Aurora, the same place where the only son of Navy Cmdr. Phillip Cyr and his wife Deborah had been baptized as a child.

In her homily, Pastor Patricia Geiseman compared the fallen captain’s legacy to the light of a plane she’d recently seen flying across an otherwise dark and starless night. Cyr’s dedication to family, friends and country, she said, was “like that light in the sky.”

While I didn’t know this young man, the more I learned about him, the more apparent it became just how brilliant that light was. Even the portraits of Cyr, with that mega-watt smile, that adorned the altar at St. Mark’s, seemed to illuminate her point: His family, his friends, indeed, this country, had lost someone special.

Geiseman described Cyr as a colorful, honest and creative force who loved baking, photography and big dogs. But “friends knew,” said the pastor, “that his favorite subject was people.”

“I like to make others happy,” he had once written, “because it makes me happy.”

Phil and Debbie Cyr, she said, taught Brandon and his sister Bobbi Jo to be independent, responsible and compassionate human beings. And though the military family had traveled extensively around the country and world, they always knew that home was where family was.

In the homily, Geiseman spoke of Cyr’s leadership abilities, his love of country and his pursuit of excellence. And she asked all those who were grieving in that church to find the courage to carry this young man’s light on with them in order to light up their own skies.

“Brandon’s light,” she said, “did shine for all those to see.”

Capt. Cyr, who had been one of the first pilots of the 906th Air Refueling Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, will be cremated at Dunn Family Funeral Home in Oswego. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors some time later this month.

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