Monday, November 12, 2007

The Flag Of My Father

I wanted to offer my gratefulness to my father on Veteran's Day for his service to this nation in Korea in 1950. My father was lucky enough to survive this war in which many other young soldiers were killed on places such as Pork Chop Hill and did not come back home alive. The families were given a folded flag on behalf of the military as a tribute to their service. But when a solier eventually dies, then the family receives the sad tribute of the folded flag. My ailing mother was given this folded flag in late July when my father died of a sudden stroke. But three months later, with her lungs so weakened by the ravages of COPD from secondhand smoking at her workplace and society in general, she followed him in death as well. My mother never smoked a day of her life. But suffered with all the lung problems that smokers bring on themselves with COPD and required $800 a month in medicine to be able to breathe the last few years. My mother was murdered by the tobacco companies and smokers who could not control their drug addiction, by smoking in public places.

It was indeed a controversial decision for me to publish the funeral photos of my parents, and I hope my brother and sister will accept my decision for this important reason: I feel that many friends and relatives of both of my parents either missed the opportunity to view them at the Mt. Scott Funeral Home or at graveside services for each of them. Death is deeply sad, and I'd like any of their friends to have this last opportunity to view my parents, they they knew for many years.

Losing both parents and also the family dog in just three short months is grief beyond words for me. All I can do is to cope with this huge loss and soldier on. My father was a good soldier and role model for what is expected of me, who always behaved with great honor while in Korea, and very disappointed when some other soldiers failed to always act honorably and as a good representative of America. My father resented those young soldiers in Korea who failed to treat the Korean people with all the full respect they were due. And in Korea when my father was asked if a Black soldier could work along with him back in the days of great racial discrimination, my father welcomed this Black soldier as a full equal to him, when few Whites accepted Blacks as a full equal in those days. My father always represented great fairness and honor. My father made up a Santa suit by dying some working "whites" and gave small gifts to both the Americans and Koreans alike, making many very happy in the midst of this cold and brutal war. And my mother was equally a great person and the loyal companion my dad for just under 58 years.

God bless my father for his constant honorable service to this nation. His role model of honorable service stands as a sharp contrast to some of the actions of some U.S. soldiers in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq that have disgraced their uniform and nation by abusing prisoners or other awful unAmerican conduct. God bless you good soldier. A job well done in defense of this country and the right of the people of South Korea to determine their own destiny and build their own successful economy that stands in sharp contrast to the poverty and cruelty of North Korea. And God bless you too mother. I miss both of you terriby.


At 9:18 PM, Blogger Tom Foster said...


I don't think any of you're family should have a problem with you posting their funeral pictures
I'm going to miss them both
They always treated me with kindness and respect and I will always have the upmost respect for them both
I'm very sorry for you're loss and as I said tonight if you need anything just call me

You're friend Tom


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