A call has been made for citizens to take a vow in service of country and learn from deceased soldier Lance Cpl Marcus Gay, who was killed during a shootout with assailants at a wake in Moruga last Tuesday. The call was made by Anglican priest Father Aaron Charles who yesterday officiated at the funeral service of the murdered solider at the St Christopher’s Anglican Church, High Street Siparia.
“I am urging citizens to learn from the life of Gay and look at how we could learn to serve. The way he(Gay) lived and how his life was taken away in the line of duty while serving his country. He died because he made a vow not to serve himself, but to serve others and he died because he made a vow to this country, ” Charles told mourners. The priest said Gay was also a member of the church and the captain of the St Christopher’s Anglican Church Football team. “This is a lesson for all of us ,like Jesus, Gay died in service to his country. We all need to begin to serve our country, this is a call for us as a nation to begin to serve again,”he said. Charles added that one of the major issues in society was that people are no longer serve and were not willing to make the necessary sacrifice for the betterment of their community. Charles said too often citizens speak ill of our beloved land instead of serving, “We focus too much as a society on the negatives when there are men who are giving their life to his country from day to day. The time has come for us to make a vow again as a nation and a community to serve again,”Charles said.
Opposition Leader and Siparia Member of Parliament, Kamla Persad-Bissessar who attended the funeral, described Gay as a hero who was deserving of a hero’s send-off. She said that on hearing of the news of the passing of Gay, she felt a great sadness and fear. “This young man was killed in the line of duty. He died trying to make Trinidad and Tobago safer. While he was protecting us, who was protecting him?” Persad- Bissessar said. She said in times like these, citizens must stand together and lift each other up. “We must be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. The government which I led, in the budget presentation of 2014, made a commitment to the payment of one million dollars to the estate of each of the members of the protective services. This meant that the family members of persons serving in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty, would have one less thing to worry about in their time of grief,” Persad-Bissessar said.
The former PM added that in September, 2016, she went so far as to draft a Cabinet Note for the Government. Persad-Bissessar said it was no secret that crime in this country was out of control. “That means that everyday, members of the protective services jobs get harder, and more dangerous, but still, every day, they put on their uniforms, they take abuse from the public and public officials alike, and still with a quiet dignity they get their job done.” Persad-Bissessar noted.
Gay, 31, a member of an elite unit of the TT Regiment with more than ten years service was laid to rest at the Siparia Cemetery. No arrests have been made into the killing.