Friday, March 8, 2013
We The People
My folks live in a rural community where my father was born and grew up, thirty miles from where my mother grew up. I lived in the same community until an industrial accident caused us to move when I was 14. My parent's returned to the same homestead 20 years ago and retired there.
close knit community that expresses a life dreamed of, written about, yearned for...and common in towns across our country.
They shared this story, a perfect reflection of the lives that knit the fabric of America.
Ed, 58, was a local truck driver, divorced and living with Ellen, 56, in the small town. They lived on little spending their meager earnings and socializing regularly in the corner pub. Ed died of cancer with only Ellen and a few dollars to mark his passing.
Jerry, a member of the community who knew Ellen's circumstances, called my Dad, the Commander of the American Legion and shared that Ed was a vet. Jerry knew that Ed was never active in the local chapter but perhaps the American Legion could help out.
Phone calls to fellow Legion members procured a guitar player to provide music for the service. Women of the legion provided and served the meal. Another member searched the web and published a funeral pamphlet highlighting Ed's military career including the history of the ship he served on.
The Legion Honor Guard honored Ed 's passing with a twenty-one gun salute.
In a manner of those communities we idealize, they took care of their own.
There is often a caring community that counts us as a member but we don't fully realize what that means until those souls are the only ones who show up at our door with food, encouragement or the staples we need to make it another day.
Or perhaps you are the member that sees the need and steps up to offer your hand. We all make up the threads that knit our neighborhoods and towns together.
What close knit communities are you a part of?