Fallen BP agent Aguilar honored in memorial service
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January 24, 2008 - 11:39AM

SUN PHOTO BY BENJAMIN HAGER A giant American flag, suspended by firetrucks from the Yuma and Somerton/Cocopah fire departments ladder trucks, greeted the hearse carrying Border Patrol agent Luis Aguilar near the entrance of the Yuma Civic Center Thursday morning.

Law enforcement officers from across the Southwest filled the Yuma Civic Center Thursday to pay their respects to a fallen brother.

Senior Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was honored in a public funeral service Thursday. Thousands attended, filling the 2,200-seat civic center almost to capacity. Those who could not find a chair stood through the service as officials from Washington, D.C., and Aguilar's loved ones paid tribute to his memory.

Police, firefighters, military personnel and other members of all stripes of law enforcement came to support their fellow officers in the U.S. Border Patrol. All referred to Aguilar as a
brother, but for one agent, those ties went beyond the uniform.

Senior Patrol Agent Marcos Aguilar, a Border Patrol agent in the Tucson Sector and Luis Aguilar's older brother, delivered one of the eulogies at the service.

He spoke of his brother as a quiet, tough man but one who always had a smile and a joke for the people he was close to. He told the crowd of mourners about growing up with Luis, from their days playing football and being on the wrestling team together to these last years, when they protected neighboring sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"My little brother always followed me," Marcos Aguilar said in his eulogy, "and whatever he did, he did better ... I never thought he would go first."

Luis Aguilar, 32, had been a Border Patrol agent for six years. He was assigned to the Yuma Sector and lived in the city of Yuma with his wife and young son and daughter.

His body is being taken back to his hometown of El Paso, Texas. He will be buried Monday.

Aguilar was killed Saturday when he was hit by a Hummer in the Imperial Sand Dunes near the California-Mexico border about 20 miles west of Yuma. The Hummer is believed to have been a smuggling vehicle. Mexican authorities have arrested one man, Jesus Navarro Montes, in connection with Aguilar's death.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner W. Ralph Basham and Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar also attended the service and conveyed the sympathies and support of federal officials in Washington, D.C.

Chief Aguilar, who is of no relation to Luis Aguilar, said that even after more than 30 years in the Border Patrol, it was difficult to make sense of events like an agent's death.

"As I get older, it gets even harder to make sense of them, but I keep trying," Chief Aguilar said in his address to the crowd.

He praised Agent Aguilar for his devotion to the Border Patrol mission, his strong work ethic and the love he displayed for his family.

The chief closed his eulogy with the Spanish words, "Hermano, vaya con Dios."

Brother, go with God.

Sarah Reynolds can be reached at
sreynolds@yumasun.com or 539-6847.

http://www.yumasun.com/news/patrol_3915 ... order.html

May God Bless