Saying thanks on Father's Day
6/11/2008 7:18:45 AM
This weekend I’ll be traveling to West Virginia to spend Father’s Day with my dad. Dad is 88 years young and a combat veteran of World War II. We’re told that the WWII veterans are passing away at a rate of 2000 each day. As the “Greatest Generation” these men and women from every background, every color, religion and creed are indeed responsible for the freedoms we take for granted today.
I ran across the following story just in time for Father’s Day and hope that you will take the time to remember these men. Perhaps your grandfather, a great uncle or a family friend is among them.
I’m a first wave baby boomer and remember my dad and my uncles when I was a kid. They were robust young men, just home from the war. They never talked about it then, just set to work, marrying our moms and raising their families, my brother, my cousins and me. It would not be until retirement that they would talk about the atrocities they witnessed and the hardships they endured.
We owe a lot to that generation, not only for life itself but for the freedoms that they preserved and that endure to this day. They were indeed the greatest generation.
If you know or are privileged to have a WWII or Korean War vet in your family or in your circle of friends, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate them and what they’ve done for our country….before they go.
Please take a moment to read the story below and to click the link at the end in order to listen to and view the video.
The elderly parking lot attendant wasn't in a good mood. Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray Beach , Fla. , eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and musician, was bone tired after appearing at an event.
He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. 'I took two bullets for this country and look what I'm doing,' he said bitterly.
At first, Bierstock didn't know what to say to the World War II veteran. But he rolled down his window and told the man, 'Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.' Then the old soldier began to cry.
'That really got to me,' Bierstock says.
Cut to today.
Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach - a member of Bierstock's band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band - have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot. The mournful 'Before You Go' does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.
'If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,' says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. 'The WW II soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.'
The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren.
'It made me cry,' wrote one veteran's son. Another sent an e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine would he discuss ' the unspeakable horrors' he and other soldiers had witnessed in places such as Anzio, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Omaha Beach. 'I can never thank them enough,' the son wrote. 'Thank you for thinking about them.'
Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, maybe a Lee Greenwood type, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web . They've sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in Washington . Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a Veterans Day tribute - this after just a few days on the Web. They hope every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.
GOD BLESS every EVERY veteran...and THANK you to those of you veterans who may receive this !
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO HEAR THE SONG AND SEE THE PICTURES:
Photo Top: Homon Fielder, 88, today at his home in Beckley, West Virginia.
Photo Insert: My dad as a young soldier, fought in both the European and Pacific theaters in World War II. A combat engineer, he served in Iceland at the beginning of the war and in New Guinea at the close. He joined the US Army in 1939 at age 19 and was honorably discharged in December of 1945. He's my hero!