This ride segment is dedicated to:
04/15/2006

First Officer Michael Horrocks
United Airlines Flight 175

by Bill Horrocks

We are truly blessed to have known Michael. He was one of those special people you rarely meet in life, that touch you so deeply, that you feel enriched after having been with him. When you met Michael you were instantly impressed by how genuine he was, and his ability to make you feel at ease. We are extremely fortunate that he was with us for 38 years. He touched our lives in so many ways.

He treated each day as a gift, and lived every day to its fullest. He had a genuine appreciation for the small things in life. He turned everything he did into an enjoyable experience, whether it was doing work around the house or doing a crossword puzzle. He was never in a rush and never took risks. He new there was no reason to take risks when life was so precious.

He was one of the most caring and compassionate people you could ever meet. As a father, his children were his pride and joy. He balanced his discipline with them with a clear understanding that they're young for a very short time. He made it fun for them to brush their teeth and sang to them to get them up in the morning. Michael spent more quality time with his kids than most of us can dream of. Christa and Mick, you are the most amazing thing that ever happened to your dad. You got the best and the most from him. You both carry so much of your daddy in you that you will be a constant reminder of him.

Michael loved Miriam with his whole heart. There was no one Michael wanted to bring more happiness to than Miriam. No one laughed more with Michael than Miriam. She was his soul mate and constant companion. They were inseparable.

To our mom and dad Michael was special. His was a constant source of pride and joy. To his mom he was "Michael the Lover." His performance on the football field, in the Marines, and as friend, husband and father was a direct reflection of the kind of love and values our parents gave to us as kids.

Being a Marine gave Michael a sense of pride in being the best and doing his best. He loved being part of a team that would do anything for each other. He had basic, old-fashioned values of loving God, family and country.

He enjoyed being with his friends. Everywhere he went he built a new circle of incredibly dedicated friends. From Hershey High to West Chester University, to the Marines, to United, to the friends and neighbors that completed his front walk on Saturday. They are the most caring, beautiful group of people you will ever meet.

His word was as good as gold. If he said he was going to do something you could be 100% certain he was going to do it. He never took himself too seriously, always allowing his friends and family to poke fun at him or make him the butt of the joke. He had a quiet confidence, a coolness that everyone admired and gravitated towards. He always handled pressure with ease and was ready to step up to any challenge, but rarely issued one.

He loved to fish from the time he was old enough to cast a rod. And he loved his boat, the one he searched for for months, combing dozens of used boat magazines. The one he refitted, and endlessly obsessed over the right motor options, while the boat sat on dry land for two summers.

The serenity and beauty of the water never went unappreciated. We would surf fish for hours. We wouldn't talk much; we'd just stand next to each other holding our fishing poles, and watch the sun rise up over the ocean. We hardly ever caught anything worthwhile; it was a bonus if we did.

He chose his career because it was one that afforded him the time to focus on his family, enjoy his hobbies, and to get paid for doing something he loved. He would say he didn't want for anything.

Laughter was the key to Michael's soul. He loved to laugh and to make others laugh. He loved practical jokes and to rib anyone who could take a ribbing. His sharp wit could find humor in the most mundane activities and he was the one person you could count on to make you belly laugh.

Michael had an old soul. A soul that understood that life is a gift and that every moment should be enjoyed to its fullest. A soul that learned to love the journey, not just the destination. A soul that existed in peace and serenity because he lived his life to its fullest while enriching everyone he came into contact with.

Michael will speak to us every day. Listen. He will be to telling us that there is nothing certain in life but today, right here, right now. Enjoy every moment of the present. Take time to smell the crisp fall air and appreciate the color of the autumn leaves. Live life with passion and joy. Laugh. Laugh often and loud. And above everything else love, love god, your family and friends, and your country.

He was our pride and joy, our friend and companion, our boundless source of love and laughter, our angel.

He has always been, and will always be, our hero!

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