Our Simple Gesture
Even though I could not yet adequately explain to him why, I felt that my son and I needed to be there to show our support.
It was a raw fall morning with a cold wind and rain in the air. It was anticipated that he would be driven through town, with police escort, at 10:30. Unaware that his flight had been delayed one hour, we arrived at 10:00, so as not to miss him as he passed by. We stood in the light rain with AJ perched on my shoulders for nearly ninety minutes until we saw the first sign of flashing lights.
When he saw the lights, AJ became excited. “Here he comes, Daddy!” AJ shouted. I brought AJ down from my shoulders and waited for the vehicles to crest the hill. “Now, Daddy? Can I do it now?” AJ asked. “Yes,” I responded.
It has been over one year since AJ raised his right hand, just as I had instructed him to do, as the body of Army Sergeant Edward Bolen was returned to his hometown, AJ’s hometown. AJ (then three, and now four years old) still remembers that day and the story I told him.
He remembers that Sergeant Bolen was a hero.