Sergeant Eddison Alexander Hermond sent an urgent message to his friends on Facebook pas Memorial Day approached. He urged his friends and family to remain positive as the national holiday was observed.
“Okay kiddos, it’s Friday and the start of Memorial Day weekend,” he wrote early that morning. “Let’s get the hate out of our hearts. Focus on the positives and let’s all, for once, enjoy life as it’s meant to be enjoyed.”
The veteran of the Air Force and Maryland Army National Guard added, “We’re free because people gave their lives for us to live this way. So . . . . stop being mad for one single weekend. PLEASE.”
The weekend progressed rather normally for the 39-year-old as he spent Sunday drinking with friends at a restaurant in downtown Ellicott City, Maryland. According to The Washington Post, a rainstorm suddenly hit.
It turned rapidly into a downpour, then a torrential flood. The waters ripped through the historic Maryland mill town.
Whole cars were upended while the waters flooded businesses. The waters even destroyed a 180-year-old stone cottage. That’s when Hermond spotted a woman in peril. She was caught in the rising currents.
Kate Bowman saw Hermond come toward her, saw him gesturing to her to hold on from the edge of a creek. But the roar of the water made it hard for her to hear.
She said she saw him take a step in her direction. Then he was gone.
After two days of drone searches, coupled with cadaver dogs and other parties, Hermond’s body was found. His body was pulled from the Patapsco River.
“With all the people they had searching out there, we just didn’t believe he’d be found dead,” said his aunt Nina Cooper. “We all had our hopes. But after we went down into the woods looking for him, it started to sink in.”
Hermond grew up in San Diego and joined the Air Force out of high school in 1996. He served for 10 years as a cryptologist. He is survived by his 13-year-old son.
Please pray for his family during this terrible time of loss. Be sure to read about a pair of kids who had their lemonade stand shut down for lack of a permit.