A parents' love
Among the items in the Wilfahrt home in Minnesota is a pen from President Barack Obama. It was used to sign the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that required gays in the military to hide that part of their lives or risk being kicked out.
The White House sent the pen to the Wilfahrts after Andrew was killed in Afghanistan, the first gay soldier killed after the repeal.
Cpl. Wilfahrt became a rallying cry for gay rights supporters. Floats bearing his image have wound down the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the annual pride parade the last two years.
Republican state Rep. John Kriesel, a war veteran who was nearly killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, passed around Wilfahrt's image at the legislature. He told his colleagues: "I cannot look at this picture and say, 'Corporal, you were good enough to fight for your country and give your life, but you were not good enough to marry the person you love."
Kriesel's speech was turned into an advertisement by supporters of marriage equality and broadcast around Minnesota before Election Day.
Lori Wilfahrt worried her son's death would be in vain if they failed to stop the amendment.
Jeff Wilfahrt told anyone who would listen that his son and other gays were citizens of the state who should never be denied rights. "Very early on," he says, "we took a position to protect citizenship."
Never afraid to voice his opinion, Jeff once challenged opponents as to how they would prove a couple who wanted to get married were a man and a woman: "Will you as a human being, as an American, as a Minnesotan, be asked to open your trousers or to have your skirt lifted when applying for a license to marry?"
On Election Day, the Wilfahrts arrived at their polling place and waited as the poll worker scrolled through the list of registered voters. They both saw it: Right above Jeff's name was Andrew's.
They told the poll worker their son was killed in Afghanistan, that his name shouldn't be on the list. She was embarrassed and said, "I know. I've seen both of you on television."
The two then went in to mark their ballots. Lori checked hers about 10 times before casting it. "To me, in some ways, it's the last thing I can do for him."
As they prepared to leave, an election judge pulled them aside. They were asked to sign an official deceased voter voucher.
"Here you are before your government declaring your son is dead after that vote," Jeff says. "I can't even put it into words: Why now? Why this place?
"It was like a really weird closure."
Another strange, daily reminder of their profound loss.
That night, Jeff went to bed early; he lost his own bid for a state representative seat. Lori stayed up, alone, awaiting the results on the amendment issue.
Four years earlier, she'd spent election night with Andrew, a joyous occasion when the two celebrated Obama's victory. Minnesota had tried then to amend the Constitution to add a sales tax to help wildlife causes. Andrew told family members: "Oh, no, you don't want to do that. You hardly ever want to amend the Constitution!"
That conversation kept going through her mind this election night. Finally, in the wee hours Wednesday, came the news: The Constitution would not be amended to limit marriage.
It was a victory Andrew would embrace.