Well into his 80’s (if not 90’s at the time), he still found time to give bowling lessons at the local alley. I wonder if his students had any idea. Of course, he was part of the greatest generation. They didn’t parade around their humble heroics and acts of service. To them, they were just doing what they were asked to do.
As he sat in the back of my mom’s car, I was asked to drive this gentleman back to his car parked in a lot at a nearby grocery store. Boy was I ever nervous. My nerves stemmed from both a sense of deep responsibility to deliver this man safely to his car as well as a sense of honor in frankly getting to spend some time with him and to be in his presence.
I took a wrong turn once. As traffic was stopped by a police roadblock, I was the third car back. Minutes later, the presidential motorcade raced by. Rarely does one have this opportunity to sense such power, honor, respect, and awe as it races by fast before your eyes.
And yet, what I felt as I watched the motorcade race by was exactly the same feelings I felt as I cautiously drove this passenger to his car. It was a short drive, but I felt every bump in the road, I saw every car around me, and quite frankly was more alert than anytime I could remember.
Dropping him off at his car and as he grabbed his briefcase out of the trunk, I felt a sense of relief. Mission accomplished. For him, it was a simple ride back to his car.
For me, I was carrying a Pearl Harbor survivor from point A to point B.
I have been asked to do a lot of things in my life, but rarely has anything been both this important and been such an honor.
Remembering Pear Harbor this day and all those who both perished that day as well as survived by pondering that one time.. I was called to active duty and simply drive from point A to point B.
What an honor.