Safety Engineering Services
Jay W. Preston, CSP, PE, CMIOSH, President and CEO
Jay W. Preston, CEO
Jay William Preston, Invocation Speaker
Memorial for Yujin Jay Preston
August 20, 1999
Spartan School of Aeronautics
In the hangar before a crowd of 300-400 of Yujins colleagues.
Please excuse me, but I wasnt exactly expecting that (the awarding of Yujins flight instructors wings).
But that was my sons goal. He wanted more than anything else to become a Certified Flight Instructor here at Spartan. And he was well on the way. He was due to begin his multi-engine commercial training the week that he turned up missing.
Im here this morning, first let me thank you for all showing up and showing us that Yujin had a special place in your heart as a colleague, an associate, and a brother pilot. Im here in three capacities this morning. First, as a grieving father who has lost an only son. Second as a trained safety engineer and accident investigator. And third as a minister of the good news of Jehovahs Kingdom.
You should all know that Yujin was a minister of Jehovahs Kingdom, as well. You may have learned a little bit about the hope he had for everlasting life in paradise here on earth.
Now it may seem as somewhat incongruous that we are so tragically broken up, when we have such a great hope to share with people of resurrection into everlasting life on earth. But even David, of all people, should certainly have recognized that resurrection hope. Yet he cried incessantly over the loss of two of his sons, his younger son and his older son, Absalom. Absalom, of course, was the son that tried to kill David and usurp his throne. And, yet, David wept bitterly over the loss of that son.
In one sense the hope we have, this hope of the resurrection to the earthly Kingdom is something that must be delayed. But nonetheless, we lose out in not having our loved ones with us this additional time until the resurrection comes. Its not unlike saying goodbye at the train station or the airport, when the loved one goes off on an extended journey. Its a sad and disappointing event, but we know and we have confidence that they will be back.
Yujin has a reputation of being an excellent pilot. Very meticulous. Very thorough. Very cautious. We know from the radar track of his journey from Los Angeles where he attended our Jehovahs Witness Convention that he turned back on at least one occasion. He turned back toward Winslow, Arizona. Nobody knows for sure, but we think that he made a landing there. But he continued to go on eastward toward returning here to Spartan. We also know that he turned back another time. I believe that he turned back right around the radio towers on Mount Taylor, New Mexico, because when he hit the trees he was heading roughly 290. He was heading back to Gallup. They threw him a curve on that mountain. Those radio towers are on a peak about half a mile to the north, and its on the order of six to eight hundred feet lower than the actual peak of Mount Taylor. So keep that in mind if you are ever flying in that area.
When I turn to what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12: King Solomon said, "I returned to see under the sun that the swift do not have the race, nor the mighty ones the battle, nor do the wise also have the food, nor do the understanding ones also have the riches, nor do even those having knowledge have the favor; because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all. For man also does not know his time. Just like fishes that are being taken in an evil net, and like birds that are being taken in a trap, so the sons of men themselves are being ensnared at a calamitous time, when it falls upon them suddenly."
Now certainly, my son, Yujin, was swift. He had understanding. I think he was wise. But he was trapped in that evil trap for snaring birds: Mount Taylor. Jehovah God can protect us against many of the hazards of life and this world. He cannot protect us against them all. But its important to remember that while we are here, before Jehovahs Kingdom is implemented on the earth, that we must behave in exemplary ways, so that we can be pleasing to our God and of benefit to our fellow man.
King Solomon, again, at Ecclesiastes 7:1-4, says, "A name is better than good oil, and the day of death than the day of ones being born. Better is it to go to the house of mourning than to go to the banquet house, because that is the end of all mankind; and the one alive should take [it] to his heart. Better is vexation than laughter, for by the crossness of the face the heart becomes better. The heart of the wise ones is in the house of mourning, but the heart of the stupid ones is in the house of rejoicing."
So we can see here, as evidenced by the awarding of the wings, and by what Ive heard from Yujins colleagues, instructors, fellow students and so forth, that he has made a name among the people of the world. He has also made a name for himself with Jehovah, and we expect him to be back in the resurrection.
The Bible has a lot to say about the resurrection. At Daniel 12:1-3, he says, "And during that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people. And there will certainly occur a time of distress such as has not been made to occur since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, every one who is found written down in the book. And there will be many of those asleep in the ground of dust who will wake up, these to indefinitely lasting life and those to reproaches [and] to indefinitely lasting abhorrence.
And the ones having insight will shine like the brightness of the expanse; and those who are bringing the many to righteousness, like the stars to time indefinite, even forever."
So we can see that there is going to be a time of tribulation and a time of trouble on this earth like has never been seen before and then the memorial tombs will be opened up. And I have confidence that Yujin will be among those who will be resurrected into this new system of things.
Id like to quote one more scripture before I abandon the podium here. And Id like to say what the hope is for this new heaven and new earth thats going to be here. At Revelation 21:1-4, it says, " And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: "Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."
And we have good confidence that Yujin will be back with us in the resurrection, and we will be able to welcome him back, but only if we maintain our integrity and our own righteousness in the eyes of our God, Jehovah.
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