SPARKS, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- More than a thousand guardsmen, students, friends and family members came together Sunday to remember Michael Landsberry, the dedicated teacher who died while protecting his students during the tragic Sparks Middle School shooting nearly two weeks ago.
'Find something worth dying for, and then live for it.' Those words were shared by the chaplain at Master Sergeant Michael Landsberry's memorial service.
Landsberry was a teacher, Marine, Air Guardsman, husband, father and friend.
Hero isn't a word many people use lightly, but it's one nearly all of the speakers used.
"You have always been a hero and your friends and family knew that, but now the whole world knows," said Alicia Cook, Landsberry's step-daughter.
Landsberry's family isn't alone in their grief. The community is mourning with them, as they remember a man who died a hero.
"By any standard, a true Nevadan, a giant among us, the best that we can do," Governor Brian Sandoval said.
One of the greatest men you could ever know, something said by the Governor and Landsberry's loved ones, as he was honored both by the military and those closest to him.
"Mike was my best friend, my soulmate," Sharon Landsberry said. "He was my everything, my life. From the very beginning of our courtship, I knew and Mike knew that our relationship was going to be endless."
Sparks Christian Fellowship was packed as people shared stories about the teacher, the Marine, the friend. Some of them brought much-needed moments of comic relief to a heartbreaking day.
"He was a grade A, highly-functioning geek," Tom Gordon said. "A brilliant nerd, it was glorious."
Many said thank you to the man who touched so many lives.
"I want to thank Michael, not just for what he did that day, but what he did every day in his classroom changing the lives of children," said Pedro Martinez, superintendent of Washoe County School District.
Even in his death, Landsberry's family and friends say they're still learning from him.
"I truly believe that if Mike were here to remind us of anything, he would encourage us to keep pushing forward, stay positive, stay strong and persevere," Sharon Landsberry said.
"Love one another and move forward," Sparks Mayor Gino Martini said.
"There is nobody in this world today w is guaranteed a tomorrow," said Colonel David Clark. "So let Mike's gift to all of us be to live today although it was our last day."
Landsberry may be gone, but for those who knew him, he'll always be close.
"This world will never be the same without you, and I'm going to try my best to make sure that as long as I'm here that you won't be forgotten," Ben Tucker said.
"I have not a minute that goes by where one of those stories doesn't creep back in, and I just feel good that I knew Mike Landsberry," Jerry Miller said. "So thanks for the memories, Mike."
"I know that he is here with us and keeping us strong and he will be with me forever," said Alisa Cook, Landsberry's step-daughter.
If you'd like to make a donation to the Landsberry family, you can do so through the Nevada Military Support Alliance. Donors and contributors are asked to make all checks payable to the Nevada Military Support Alliance with the note "In Honor of Michael Landsberry" on the memo line. Checks should be forwarded to:
The Nevada Military Support Alliance
985 Damonte Ranch Parkway, Suite 310
Reno, NV 89521
The Nevada Military Support Alliance can be reached at 775-359-3000, Ext.125 or 702-701-4167.
Credit card and Paypal donations can be made through the Nevada Military Support Alliance website at www.nvmilitarysupport.org. Donors should select the 'Make a Donation' button on the NMSA home page to make a donation.