The short life of AJ Sabin, a local marine, was remembered Tuesday night in Saint Libory. It was Sabin's unexpected and tragic death that the priest during Tuesday's funeral said can cause us all to question ‘what if,' but that's the wrong thing to do he says as AJ's life was focused on ‘what's next.'
"It's the biggest thing he taught me, let stuff go and be happy with your life," said Sam Bolton, AJ's best friend and pallbearer.
On a bitter Tuesday morning, it was time to let AJ Sabin go home, as difficult as it must be.
"He's been my best friend since we were 6-years-old. Our dogs are brothers," he said.
The 22–year–old marine served our country for 4 years, before his life was taken. He leaves behind a wife, parents, two siblings and a multitude of friends.
"He's the type of person there's not a bad thing to say about him," said his friend Bradley Martinsen. "Everybody absolutely loved him," he said, "if you had a frown on your face you had a smile when he left the room."
"Every day I spent with AJ was better than any other day," said Bolton. "He would just lighten the mood so much."
And it was AJ's ability to set the mood that still brings smiles to many faces.
"I was going through tapes and I came across this one the other day," said Twila Weldon, a family friend. "AJ was in our dryer spinning around with the camcorder; at the time ‘I'm like these kids,' but like what the priest said now you hold on to that."
As his wife held on to his flag, and friends held on to each other, everyone at Tuesday's ceremony was holding on to the gifts AJ left behind.
"Always be happy, live in the moment," said Weldon.
"He's an amazing person in every way and form, he's going to be missed," said Martinsen.
"He would've done anything for friends or family," said Bolton. "All I can say was he was my best friend that's about it," choked up with tears.