He has always been one of my heroes. Although I was only 9 when he died, I have a lot of memories of Pa. Special memories that seem more vivid than so many others from childhood.
I remember Ma & Pa’s house and the carport with white metal poles where Pa’s car sat. We would swing around those poles when we were little. I remember the smell of that car as I would jump in the front seat (yep different times) and ride with Pa to the store to spend my “two dodders”… All I ever wanted was peppermint certs.
I remember walking with him (and sometimes with Ma and Mama) to “the end of the world.” It was really just the backside of the big warehouse behind their house…. a warehouse that has been replaced twice since that time. First it was a Kmart. Now it’s The Grand Theater. How in the world has it been that long ago?
But most of all, I remember sitting in the front room of their house with Pa. All I wanted to do was to sit with him and spend time with him. I miss those days.
He was definitely a hero to me as a little girl… even before I was old enough to understand the complexity of his heroism. In his lifetime, he was a hero to so many. You see, Pa fought to protect our freedom… the freedom that we all love to claim as citizens of the USA. But most of us aren’t willing to go on the front lines for it. Pa served in World War II, participating in and witnessing things that haunted him for the rest of his life. He didn’t talk much, from what I can remember. But when he did speak, I listened.
As I think back on my precious time with him, the main thing I’m thankful for is his selflessness. He was willing to sacrifice for my freedom. For yours. I’m proud to call him Pa.
Since today is Memorial Day, let’s especially remember those who have given their lives to protect our own. Pa was fortunate enough to come home from the war, unlike one of his brothers… and many of his friends.
As we go about our festivities today, let’s take time out to pray for the families of those incredible men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. They gave up their lives for us.