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Archive for the ‘Purple Heart’ Category

Small Towns

A Hero Celebrates

Sunday, we had the good fortune to be in Micanopy, FL for a most auspicious occasion.

We stopped to get sweet tea and to listen to some music. A sign on a large table outside read, “Reserved for Ed.” People gathered. Music filled the air, and folks sang along.

The excited anticipation was palpable. After all, it was Ed’s 92nd birthday. After a brief wait, the birthday boy‒a true hero‒arrived.

This proud Marine served in the “Fighting Fourth,” which served 63 days in combat, earning one of the highest reputations for combat. More than 80 percent gave their lives. This unit was active in the Assault on Roi-Namur, Capture and Occupation of Saipan, Capture and Occupation of Tinian, and the Assault and Occupation of Iwo Jima.

Ed’s uniform was crowded with medals and ribbons I didn’t recognize. One I saw and knew right away: The Purple Heart.

I felt honored to shake this man’s hand and thank him for his selfless service to our country. 92 years old. A generation of heroes is dying, but we met one who’s happy to be alive and celebrating in the little town of Micanopy.

Ed's ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014

Ed’s ~ 92nd birthday, Micanopy Florida 2014

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