“Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?”
My father served in Italy during World War II in the 10th Mountain Division. He never surrendered. Never left a man behind. Never compromised his principles.
After the war, married to one woman all his life, dad kept intact his moral authority. He loved his family and his community. And his God. And mine.
All of whom were his validation.
What I learned from my father:
If it’s wrong and you know it to be but say or do nothing; if you are known as, or profess yourself to be, upstanding, decent, ethical and principled but fail to hold your ground – uncompromising, unapologetic, and even alone – in the face of what is dishonest, immoral and corruptible; if in fact you do not take the initiative and assertively and straightforwardly declare – fearlessly and calmly though the fire of your anger burns hot within – what is wholesome, right and true, opposing and reproving what is not; then people – hoping to have found in you a voice, a leader, an example of a refreshing life-giving fountain oasis in this weary wilderness windswept of moral values – will discover you instead to be as unserviceable and as repugnant as a stream of sewage: a moral coward.
Miss you dad.