My friend and fellow serving U.S. Army officer Bob Roth a USMA class of ’59 grad sent me this eulogy page for the late Taylor Force, murdered at a sea side Manta Ray restaurant in Jaffa near Tel Aviv. A restaurant that Jean and I had frequented on a trip to Israel. Roth and Force are both West Point legacies. Roth’s dad graduated in 1930 having been a mustang, up from the ranks, while, Force’s grandfather graduated in the Class of 1947. Roth and the late Taylor Force shared something else; they were both commissioned as Artillery officers. Force was a native of El Paso, Texas who attended the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) in Roswell and was inducted as a Member of the National Honor Society. We visited the NMMI years ago during one of our treks in the Land of Enchantment during two decades of summer sojourns and attending Santa Fe Opera, Chamber Music Festival and Desert Chorale concerts in Santa Fe.
Note this from Force’s eulogy page, USMA Class of ’09:
Taylor A. Force, 29, a MBA student at Vanderbilt University, was part of a University tour group, when he was stabbed to death in a terror attack that left 10 others wounded in Tel Aviv. He was among 29 students and four staff members who had gone to Israel to study global entrepreneurship. They were in Jaffa by the Mediterranean Sea when they were attacked.
The grandson of a 1947 graduate of West Point, Taylor attained the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. He was a National Honor Society member at New Mexico Military Institute prior to attending West Point. He served in Iraq from September 2010 to August 2011 and in Afghanistan from October 2012 to July 2013
Message from Chancellor Zeppos – Vanderbilt University
He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Force.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in Taylor’s name to the wounded warrior project.
Note the comments below from a Times of Israel recollection by Force’s USMA classmate:
David Simpkins, a friend of Force and a fellow West Point graduate, wrote the following for The Times of Israel:
He laughed and smiled a lot in the classes at West Point. He sat behind me, next to me, or across from me during our first two years at the United States’ premier institution. He was very mild-mannered, sharp, and professional. I couldn’t think of someone who was more of a model of “America’s finest” than him. He was handsome, articulate, brilliant, and just so GOOD. I can’t think of a moment where he wasn’t exuding an aura of pure positive energy. He was as honest and heartfelt as they come, but now he’s dead.
Taylor Force was murdered in cold blood by a West Bank Palestinian. Hamas announced that they’re celebrating their martyrs last night. As I write this, there are parties from Gaza to Ramallah continuing all day, and probably tonight. It’s not every day they get a former U.S. Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For them, this is a great boon.
Taylor is not dead because of Israel. It’s not Israel’s fault for occupying the land. It’s not Israel’s fault for making the Palestinians do this. There are over 60 territorial disputes worldwide, and most lead to absolutely no bloodshed whatsoever. It’s the Palestinians fault for murdering Taylor.
RELATED VIDEO: 1 killed [Taylor Force], 9 hurt in Jaffa stabbing spree, third serious attack of day:
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is a composite of Taylor Force photo from Facebook, the knife used to murder him and the bloody scene of the attack site. The flag in the background is that of Palestine.