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The Manuel DelValle, Jr. Memorial Fund

A Poem for Manny

This poem was written by Jennifer Safara Perry, a friend who attended The University of Maryland with Manny.

OUR ETERNAL FLAME

A Tribute to Lieutenant Manuel Manny Del Valle, Jr.

Where do I begin Manny, how should I even start?

I guess by telling you that you live forever in each of our mending hearts

No matter what, nothing in this world could ever truly tear us apart

And although you ascended above this earthly plane, your Spirit didnt completely depart

You left behind in all of us a very special and unforgettable part

Of your kind, compassionate, genuine, warm, hilarious and beautiful Soul

Bringing sunshine and smiles into our lives is just one of your many roles

To follow in your friendly footsteps is a noble and lofty goal

You made magic, and gave us precious memories with your heart of solid gold

 

And Manny, deep down inside Im not at all surprised you made the ultimate sacrifice

And risked your very own to help rescue and save other peoples lives

Knowing you, the incredible and gracious person you are, you didnt hesitate or think twice

You loved your job and selflessly helping others regardless of the price

You dedicated yourself to helping protect even if it meant your own life

As I try to convey how I feel on this day Ive come to realize

Although things changed, and wont ever be the same, it doesnt help or change it by placing blame

With God by our side, were working through and dealing with our tears and aching pain

In order to revel in rainbows, we must first withstand the thunder, lightening, and rain

Plus there isnt enough water on this planet to extinguish your eternal flame

 

On behalf of the crew Im proud to be part of your University of Maryland at College Park family

I know you were there, in the bright lights and glare as we made history

Nothing could stop you because we all know youre a Maryland basketball fanatic

After all these years weve finally won a NCAA championship, were all quite ecstatic

Because when we were on campus that was a time we suffered when the program was quite erratic

We can finally celebrate our long overdue victory, and we can be emphatic

Even our football team won the 2001 ACC, like back in the day when it was automatic

As for Atlanta and the Final Four I know of a Terrapin tactic

They had some Angels on their side, without a doubt you were on the floor

To help ensure when the final buzzer sounded the Terps had the higher score

Thank you for, opening that door and helping us to soar

You can rest for now, but your job is not done, you know we need some more

 

Manny, I leave you with these last few thoughts that get straight to the core

Long before you were officially declared one you already were our hero

We didnt need medals or flags to know it because it was always clear Bro

You grabbed life by the horns and took it for a ride in overdrive

Made the most of every moment, not a millisecond wasted, all the way live

Your life was not in vain, youve inspired all who know you

Whether for a moment, a year, or a lifetime, you are a dream come true

So in the Spirit of the Firemans Prayer God has sounded your last alarm

Keep the fires burning for justice and well forever remember your positive vibe, free Spirit, beautiful smile, and magnetic charm.

Manny you're the best, we will always love you, rest easy in Gods Heavenly and protective arms!!

                                                                                   *Jennifer Safara Perry

April 2002