“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Yesterday, I celebrated Memorial Day and this is my fourth Memorial Day Post. Seems each year Memorial Day grows more and more significant for me. The general Post message over the four years is the same. And, the message should be. We need to remember freedom is not free nor a gift. And, we need to remember those who paid for our freedom with their lives. Let’s Remember!
Now, mostly during these same four years, much of my family’s history has come to light. We now can reach back to the mid-1700’s and substantiate our earliest known ancestor, John Broddy (Broady). Much of what we now know about John, our 4th grandfather, relates to the American Revolutionary War. We also know that John was a slave owned by General William Campbell and General Campbell led the famous battle known as the Battle of Kings Mountain. John was present with General Campbell at the time of the battle and was later given his freedom in part
because of his loyal service to his commander during the American Revolutionary War.
The photo was taken during the recent dedication of a marker (October 2016) placed at Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. The marker commemorates John’s presence together with several other Afro-Americans during the famous Battle of Kings Mountain. Most of the credit for the marker goes to Ms. Loretta Cozart, Regent of the Colonel Frederick Hambright Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, who spearheaded a seven year campaign to procure and erect the marker.
As a proud veteran, I am very grateful for the service of all veterans who served before me and those who have served after me. I enjoy my relationship with many of my veteran friends. However, there is a very special place in my heart for those friends who served during the Vietnam War and died during their service. It is my honor to share their names each year and to help us not forget them or their sacrifices. Three of the four played high school football with me and were very close friends. All four men completed high school and volunteered for the military immediately afterwards. Let’s Remember them…and all the rest who served and never returned to civilian life.
This Memorial Day, I again salute Danny Watkins from Meadowview, Virginia; Michael Charles and Kenneth Delaney both from Bristol, Virginia; and Frank Campbell from Chilhowie, Virginia.
This Memorial Day was also special because my community had on display the traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. This is an awesome and humbling visual accounting of the enormous loss of human treasure. This is a time of remembrance, honor, and respect.
While we are doing some remembering, I wish to add to my list of veterans my long time personal friend Curtis (Duck) Montgomery who recently passed away. You “Friends” have become aware of “Duck” from my Posts Veterans Day highlighting his military service.
Duck was that “one of a kind” type and truly blessed with a long and fruitful life. He certainly saw and experienced much in his life-time including war. He passed away at age 101 having lived a life certainly deserving of honor, respect, and remembrance.
I can also add to those being remembered on Memorial Day, my cousin Marty. He was a wonderful family man, devoted son and brother, who lived a life full of compassion and love for those with special needs. He passed away on Memorial Day last year.
We Congratulate Angela
Great job getting that Masters! “Friends”, although Angela has spent much of her time in Costa Rica since obtaining her undergraduate degree, she continued
pursuing her Masters Degree through the School of International Training focusing on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She made it and this is a very strong testimony regarding Angela’s character and intellect.
Recall “Friends”, over three years ago when the Learning Center decided with our help to employ a strong and dedicated Executive Director to lead the Learning Center to a higher level of operation. Angela was selected as the right person to take on that challenge and was successful. “Friends of Copey” has for three years now provided financial support for the Executive Director’s position.
Angela will be returning to Costa Rica this week and to get things ready to lead the guests to the doorsteps of Emory & Henry College. When she returns our guests to Copey, she will depart the country once more to take on a summer faculty position at Brandeis University.
“Friends” once again it is very obvious we are a part of so many different things going on around us.
Finally, I leave in the next couple days for Virginia and Tennessee. The trip will be very special since it will include attending a Trustee’s meeting, visiting kids and grandkids, spending time with Angela, Ana Yancy, and the Copey students. It will also include visiting my four wonderful aunts including the now very famous Aunt Katherine, and even attending a Broady reunion.
Yes, just another typical day in my life!