Ronan Kerr was a role model. His mother described him as intelligent and empathetic. The PSNI recruit from Omagh was prepared to put his life on the line to follow his calling.
And what a calling that was - joining a police force in defiance of 'dissidents' and helping to bridge the sectarian divide.
It matters that he was a Catholic. The work of policing the peace needs a healthy quota of recruits from all sides.
His heroism was an affront to those who felt compelled to snuff out his life due to their warped notions of patriotism.