Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Transformation

I have thought a lot about my dad this weekend. We went to the ground breaking ceremony for a veteran's memorial in my hometown yesterday. There will be a brick paver there with my dad's name, rank, and WW2 carved on it. My dad never talked with me about the being in World War2, the only thing he ever said was that he was a medic. Somehow, I knew that serving on the battlefield had created scars that went so deep, they never healed. Once, I ran into one of his buddies that had served in the army with him, he got a twinkle in his eye when he began to talk about memories of my dad. It seems that some of their best times together, were knocking back a couple of beers and playing guitar. It wasn't until almost 15 years after my father died, that I found out he had been a decorated war hero. My mom was sick, and the bills were rising faster than any of us could pay them. I went to the VA to find out if there were any benefits she could
receive(there were). I sat stunned, as the sweet woman behind a computer pulled up my dad's records and told me about his medals, commendations and the battles that he was in. My father had never once mentioned anything about honors. I came home and asked my mom, if she had recollections of medals. She just shook her head and said daddy never wanted to talk about the War. A few years before, a dear family friend who had served in the Navy during the war was talking to me about my dad. He asked me what daddy did in the war, and I told him he was a medic. Joel's eyes teared up, he told me that my dad had one of the most difficult jobs, that
he had to cross the battlefields, deciding which of the wounded he could help. I remembered all the times during my life, that daddy helped friends and neighbors. He was the most compassionate person I have ever known. At his funereal, so many people came up and told my family about all the times that my dad had helped them. So today, I think about that young, 18 year boy from Hull, Al who went to war. How, he came home and raised a family, and taught us to always help our friends and neighbors. He taught me more about God, than I ever learned in church. He taught me to see goodness and grace in all people, no matter the color of their skin or their station in life. I know that because of him, there were young men who made it back from the war, to live their lives and raise their families. Today, I miss him very much.

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