The Miami Student
The train arrived in Differdange, Luxembourg at 4:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Not one Miami University student was waiting outside on the platform. Class was dismissed fifteen minutes earlier. But on this day, there was no sense of urgency — in fact, it was the opposite.
Miami students, faculty and staff at the Luxembourg campus as well as several Luxembourgers met to remember and honor Miami junior Zachary Heuple and John Carroll University sophomore Gary Spice.
They each reflected on moments spent with Zach and Gary — on the charter bus tours, in the Grand Hall and on the leather couches in the basement.
The memorial service was held in a concert hall across from the chateau. Before it began, people in the crowd whispered to one another — some in English, some not.
Attendees were invited to take a rose from a large vase at the base of the stage and lay it under portraits of the two boys. The basin of flowers wasn’t full enough and was emptied before the last two rows of people could make their way to it.
During the ceremony, Zach and Gary’s friends shared their stories.
Zach was the reserved one, his friend, junior Jo Ondash said. He was fearless, solid as a rock.
“Zach always knew what he wanted,” she said, adding that he would be so focused on those things, he wouldn’t stop to focus on little things or even to take pictures while studying abroad.
To him, it was all about the moment, and he was more excited to seize it than anyone.
Gary was the new friend who seemed like an old friend.
Sam Rapnicki, junior, considers himself lucky to have had Gary as a friend and to have him as a part of himself forever now.
“The second I met him, I knew he was someone special,” Sam said. “I can only imagine, in times like this, how much easier it would be if they were both here.”