I was talking to my friend Judy on the phone the day after Memorial Day. She lives in Rio Vista. She told me the town had no planned celebrations or remembrances on Memorial Day for our men and women in uniform past or present. Her husband Hank was so upset that he did something on his own.
Hank was part of the Normandy invasion and had gone back to the Normandy Reunion. He’s so proud of his service, and of all the men who served and died for our freedoms. Hank is 85 years old, and there are very few like him left for us to honor.
He was so determined to recognize our military, past and present, that he took his flag and went up the steps of Rio Vista City Hall. Without a microphone, he started an impromptu Memorial Day speech honoring our men and women. People walking by started gathering and listening to Hank. I was told there was quite a crowd that assembled.
When he finished, a female minister who had stopped to listen, began singing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Soon the others started singing, one by one. Hank was so proud.
It’s a sorry state when one man who has given his country so much feels so forgotten. They have lived in Rio Vista for over 60 years and have been a large part of that community. How about all the other military who were also forgotten that day? Rio Vista should be ashamed.
Thank you, Hank, for your service; thank you for your voice. I’m very proud to call you my friend. I’ll never forget you or what you have sacrificed for all of us.