Howell, 21, and a classmate died on 30 April when a gunman opened fire in a classroom in the Kennedy building on UNCC’s campus. Four other students were injured, but police say Howell’s actions prevented more injuries or loss of life.

Lauren’s father, Kevin Westmoreland, said Howell studied the Star Wars universe for most of his life.

“He had a very strong sense of good and evil, and how to live life as someone who looked out for others,” Westmoreland said.

What does it mean to study the Star Wars universe?

Yesterday I visited the cemetery at Bitburg, where in 1985 Ronald Reagan’s visit prompted US outrage about visiting evil SS graves as opposed to non-evil (good?) Wehrmacht graves. Seventy-five years ago these Ardennes hills were filled with scared eighteen-year-olds lugging M1s and K98ks through the cold. I am thinking of them this morning.

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