He can be business-like to the point of being abrupt. To some, he might seem humorless, until he's observed laughing at a joke with his shoulders shaking and a little twinkle in his eye. When he's passionate about something, his enthusiasm shines through - albeit in a controlled sort of way. But on Tuesday afternoon, during the last Prescott City Council Meeting, Mayor Jack Wilson revealed a side seldom seen as he offered his respects to the family of Private First Class Tenzin Samten, killed in action in Iraq on March 12, 2008.
In a somber voice gruff with emotion, Wilson began the council meeting after the invocation and pledge by stating, "In terms of recent events, I'll go first. The Iraq war has touched Prescott again. On November 24, 2006, we lost our first Prescott resident. US Army Private Reece D. Moreno was killed in Balad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 92 Engineer Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. Recently, on March 12, 2008, Private First Class Tenzin L. Samten , 33 years of age was killed in Tallil, Iraq, southwest of An Nasiriyah. Samten was a motor transfer operator assigned to the 7th Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, which is light infantry, out of Fort Eustis, Virginia."
"I would like to read two poems in memory of Tenzin Samten," Wilson continued. "The first was written in 1847, by Theodore O'Hara. It's called 'The Bivouac of the Dead'. The second poem was written in 2002 by Roger Hancock and is called 'Not Free'."
Wilson then proceeded to read the first verse of "The Bivouac of the Dead" and "Not Free", ending with a request for those in the City Council Chambers to bow their heads in a moment of silent prayer for Tenzin Samten.
Well done, Mayor Wilson.