The Story of Mark Eklund, the former Catholic school student killed in Vietnam-Truth!

The Story of Mark Eklund, the Former Catholic School Student Killed in Vietnam-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is the touching story of a teacher at a Catholic school in Minnesota.  She describes an unforgettable elementary student named Mark Eklund who had been likeable but frustrating because of his inability to stay quiet in class.  The teacher transferred to teaching junior-high and later had Mark again.  One day asked everyone in the class to write down each student’s name and also write the nicest thing they could think of about that person.  Years later, the teacher got word that Mark Eklund had died in Vietnam and she was asked to attend his funeral.  Mark’s family showed her that the piece of paper from junior-high with other student’s kind remarks about him had been carried in his wallet until the day he died.  The teacher then heard that other students had also saved their pieces of paper from that day and how much it had meant to them.  The story closes with encouragement to tell people how much we care for them and how special they are to us while there is still the time to do it.

The Truth:

According to Saint Mary’s school in Morris, Minnesota, this is a true story written by Sister Helen Mrosla, a Franciscan nun.  According to an Associated Press article published in the Topeka Capitol-Journal in 1998, Sister Mrosla decided to write about Mark for Proteus magazine, which had asked for stories about education.  That article was later printed in Reader’s Digest but has probably reached its biggest audience via the Internet. Some  versions of the circulated email also include promises of good luck if the story is forwarded to other people, something that Sister Mrosla is not happy about.  She said it cheapens it somehow.