In honor of John Kissel, NavyHometown: Minneapolis(Submitted December 12, 2009 by Paulette Kissel-Shreve)
I know that each member of my family has their own memories of my Father. His first career was 20 years in the Navy. When I refer to him in the time since he has passed, my thoughts go to something that I read. I could find no author it belongs to. But, for me it had special significance.
"It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN, who salutes the flag."
I would add that my Father was this, and so much more. He was a loving man of great faith and strong convictions. He was not a perfect man who accepted imperfections in others. I think if I could choose the most important aspect that I loved about him, it would be his willingness to help everyone that he came in contact with. He had a wonderful voice, a gentle heart, loved dogs and always had a smile when he heard the laughter of his grandchildren. On birthdays and Christmas I will always miss the call from him with a special song. Love you Dad.
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