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Man sails around the world in memory of West Lafayette teen

Three years after his death, Christian Burns is still making headlines. His legacy helped one man sail around the world.

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 4:38 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2019 6:36 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — David Wagner said he didn't really know Christian Burns but he heard about his inspirational phrase, "one more" after he died in a car crash three years ago. 

As we've previously reported, this saying started in Christian's parents' basement. He wrote the words on a wall to inspire him to keep going when his workouts got tough. It ended up sticking in his daily activities. It helped him accomplish goals and encourage others to do the same. 

When Wagner caught wind of this phrase, he decided to use it on his journey around the world. 

"It really set me thinking about how I was living my life," said Wagner. "There's a lot of passion that came just from that simple phrase. One more island to go visit versus just taking off, one more person to meet, one more experience to be had."

One more story Christian's parents can take take comfort in. They are constantly seeing photos of how people are remembering their son. Shortly after Christian's death, wristbands were made with the phrase "one more" to honor him. 

"He held up his bracelet and he's out there in the middle of nowhere and I thought at the time, you're soloing around the world with our son. That is a wonderful thing," said Christian's father, Eric Burns. 

"When we hear these stories and we hear them from people who never even met him it just warms our heart," said Christian's mother, Marti Burns. "And we know a piece of Christian lives on."

Much like the "pay it forward" method "one more" is an encouraging gift that keeps on giving. The Burns hope it carries on in Christian's name.

"Someone hasn't truly died until they're forgotten," said Eric Burns. "And we remember him and to know that other people remember him also just makes that statement even more true."

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