As we just wrapped up the Fourth of July holiday I had some thoughts I wanted to share. The Fourth of July is to honor all who served, fought and died to make America free.
My grandfather Foster Booker fought in France in World War I. My father was a disabled veteran in the World War II era. On my mother’s side, my great-grandfather Richard Luther was a World War I veteran as well.
My brother James Booker fought in Vietnam and suffers from PTSD, to this day. My uncle Phillip Luther fought in Vietnam and got shot twice and survived. Our family friend Jimmy Hudspeth lost his legs and went on to be a world-class teacher. My stepfather Joe Woodruff was a World War I veteran and stayed in 30 years but never got over the war. He, like my father, became an alcoholic as a result of the war.
They aren’t the only ones who fought, suffered and some even died for our country.
I talk to my brother and one of my uncles periodically. They are greatly disturbed about the things going on in our great country. You see, they, like me, have children and great-grandchildren and worry for their future. I wonder what my dad and grandparents would think today. I believe they would be worrying too. I believe yours would be too.
Growing up with all of them, I don’t believe I ever heard them complain. When Mother Country needed them, they went without question. They fought for America — all America. Americans of every color and creed and faith fought alongside each other for a common cause and for each other and for all.
Now, we live in a world so tragically different. Our world wasn’t perfect then, either. I remember when John Kennedy was shot. I remember the riots and curfew when Martin Luther King, a great man of non-violence was shot. Also, in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot. All of these people also served their country well and all of them paid a heavy price. They were all doing what their country called them to do. But, they also served their country and paid a heavy price because they loved their country and all the people in it.
I know they would be appalled with all the rioting, thieving, killing and maiming of people that is occurring now. They would want everyone to pull together, as a whole, as one unit and one people — things they believed in and paid the ultimate price for.
All our family and friends fought to make the country great, and it is great! But, unless we stop this now, it is headed down a very dark road we may not recover from.
I worry for the present and for the future. I pray daily for unity and healing. Please, everyone, join me in prayer.
Mike Booker, Sr.