Remember, So You Will Never Forget - By Mike Lynch
Somewhat obscured in the euphoria over the eradication of Osama bin Laden were the thousands of lives lost in pursuit of this madman. When the news broke I couldn't help but think about one of my heroes, Derek Hines of Newburyport.
Derek grew up just like many of you who play on a team, follow the Bruins and have a net in your driveway. Derek played youth hockey and skated at just about every rink on the north shore and beyond. He starred at St. John's Prep and played four years at West Point where he was elected one of the captains his senior year.
I met Derek in the fall of 2003, his sister Ashley and my daughter Molly were field hockey teammates at Phillips Exeter. Derek had graduated from West Point but had a military commitment. He told me he was headed for Europe and quite possibly Iraq or Afghanistan to join those in pursuit of Osama bin Laden. He told me proudly, "I owe it to all of the victims and the families of those killed on 9/11."
Derek was posted in Italy but in March of 2005 he arrived in Afghanistan. He impressed his peers and commanding officer with his cool and his bravery, attributing much of it to playing under pressure in so many hockey games throughout his life. Derek lost four members of his unit to a car bomb in August of 2005. Ten days later Derek was in a squad of eight surrounding the house of the Taliban commander believed to have planted the bomb. Derek was killed in a firefight during the mission.
It was September 1, 2005. Derek Hines was 25 years old.
I can only imagine what thoughts are going through the hearts and minds of his mom Sue and his dad, Steve. Osama bin Laden is no longer with us because of the efforts of heroes like Derek Hines. The bridge spanning the Merrimac River from Amesbury to Deer Island is now the "Lt. Derek Hines Memorial Bridge." The next time you cross that bridge or just drive past Newburyport on I-95, look over and thank Derek for making your life safer.
Remember Derek Hines so you will never forget him!