Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Flags of my Father
My siblings and I always knew that our dad had served in the military. His first tour of duty was with the U.S. Army taking part in the Occupation of Europe just after World War II. Upon returning from Europe and leaving the Army, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. A few years later, he was called to active duty and sent to Korea.
Until the last 10 years or so, Dad never spoke much about his time in the trenches - which seems typical of his generation. Young men of his time were called to serve, and they served. Many of them died; many others came home again to pick up the threads of their lives. No one called them heroes or treated them as such, nor did they expect it. They simply did their duty.
Over the last several years, Dad has gradually opened up about his time overseas. He has no thrilling accounts of attack or conflict or narrow escapes; but still his experiences are interesting to us as having helped to shape him into the man he is: stern, disciplined, orderly, and determined above all to do his duty by God and his country.
Every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day, Dad proudly flies his U.S. and Marine Corps flags. (He would fly them year-round if he were able, and if the rules of his condo association permitted him to install the proper lighting.) His next-door neighbour adds to the patriotic display with a Navy flag and a Stars and Stripes of his own (the Navy flag can be glimpsed at the right in the photo above).
Wishing a happy Fourth to my Dad, and to all who love our country.
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