|By Bob Weaver|
REPRINTED FROM JULY 4, 2002
Among my earliest memories is seeing the tears of my mother and my future
Aunt Eleanor streaming down their faces on a September day in 1943 at the
departing of Uncle George "going away to service." I was almost three and
World War II was in full force.
Grandma Ginny had led her kids, all grown, in prayer on the front porch of
the old farm house, followed by a West Virginia goodbye, drifting to the car,
talking, hugging and crying. George Washington McCoy was next to the
youngest in the family of nine.
The four of us crowded into the car, rain pouring, for the nine mile trip to
Grantsville. My mother made sure we had umbrellas.
The bus came to take him away while we stood across the street from the
American Legion Hall, giving more good-byes and shedding more tears.
Would he return from the war, a question asked in silence driving back to
Hur, a tension repeated by hundreds of Calhoun families during those
Uncle George and Aunt Eleanor before he went to the middle
My Weaver uncles went off to war. Lauren flying 35 bombing missions over
Germany, Delbert's plane going down in England and Ernest in combat in the
English Channel before D-Day. At Sunday dinner those next years, the
subject was the death announcements of Calhoun men killed in action.
It was the grim face of Grandfather John Ira McCoy huddled next to the
battery radio, fine tuning the dial, listening to war news, that may be best
It was then I began to understand how important America was to me.
Despite all our problems and failings, America is a treasure of freedom and
liberty, unheard of in the world.
The voices of dissent, reason and justice, thank God for them, have allowed
us to keep the course of our great American Constitution, and defend
ourselves abroad and from within.
It is of concern we have become overly comforted with the fruits of our
labor, and fail to pay umbrage by voting or showing up to defend our
Such neglect means someone else will do it for us. It is then we must
beware, a danger more evil than bombs of mass destruction.
Happy birthday America! God deliver us from our enemies and from
Elva Yoak, a lone attendee at VFW Memorial Day tribute in Grantsville,
2002, the rest were participants in the ceremony