As a kid I knew how Memorial Day would start. My Dad was a member of the Greatest Generation, who island-hopped through the Pacific Theatre as a member of the 5th Army Air Force. He never talked about the war, but this one day a year he put on his uniform and marched at the head of the parade carrying a flag. Even when I grew older and he was my Scoutmaster, he didn’t march with the Boy Scouts. He marched up front with the other veterans.
The “service gene” must run in the family. I went on to become a volunteer fireman and our son is now a police officer. Helping and fighting for others is a calling unto itself.
This week, in the shadow of Memorial Day, it’s time to think about all those who serve, and those who make the choice to run towards danger and not away from it. That’s taken on a new meaning this year, and we thank those on the line, however and wherever you are.
Photo left: Dad somewhere in the south Pacific, sometime in 1944
Photo right: A line-of-duty funeral for a volunteer firefighter friend who succumbed to his 9/11 illness; 2019