Friday, October 25, 2013

A Tribute to A Patriot

I am sorry that I have been away from this page for awhile because of happenings in life we cannot control, but today I would like to tell you about about the Nation's loss and certainly Florida's loss of a great man.

A funeral and memorial service was held yesterday for Congressman Bill Young of Florida. Mr. Dude and I were privileged to be part of the congregation. It would not surprise me if most of you, in other parts of the country, wouldn't know who I am talking about unless you were a wounded Veteran or a family of a Veteran or a recipiant of an organ transplant.

Bill Young was a representative from this part of Florida for 42 years . A beloved man for his service. He and his wife Beverly made it their mission to serve their fellow man in ways that most of us cannot even imagine. When hearing of the need of someone who needed a transplant of an organ, he established the National Organ transplant registry. This is not done by :snapping fingers and magic wands being waved. This is done by skill, caring and knowledge of how to get these things accomplished. Today those fortunate people who have benefited from this process, probably are not aware of Congressman Young's role in these events.

He was a very soft spoken man, strong in his religious life, dedicated to his family and those he was elected to serve.   He was an advocate for our military in every way. Every week, he and his wife visited our wounded and personally worked to make their lives and the lives of their families better.  We have two wonderful Veteran's hospitals in this area and he personally is responsible for the funding's  made possible so that they can function . I cannot relate all of the wonderful things that he has been responsible for, but the tributes yesterday  were a testimony of his life of service. My Husband and I were privileged to have known him, even in a small way. He was a member of our church, and we had actively supported him. His values and his ethics were solid.  He will be missed by everyone who ever met him .

We attended this celebration of life with our dear neighbors, an Army veteran of 30 years, Mr. Dude a Navy veteran. The measure of what Bill Young meant to the Veteran population was evident everywhere. This tribute and celebration was held at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo, Florida. Dr. Charlie Martin Pastor Emeritus lead the service for his friend of many years.

Hundreds of Bill Young's political friends were there to participate and pay tribute. The sincerity of each speech given had nothing to do with politics-- it was about the man! Opening remarks by Dr. Martin and "God Bless the USA" being sung, led to the individual tributes. The Hon. John Boehner was the first to speak, then a beautiful reading by Paul K. Steele M.D. The wonderful stories and personal tribute of Gen James Amos, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Hon. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Hon. Rodney Frelinghuysen of N.J., Rev. Robert Wagenseil, Calvery Episcopal church all gave moving tributes from the point of view of close friends as well as colleagues. What was amazing about all of this, was the continuing theme of love and admiration for this man and his wife! 

A close family friend did a reading which exemplified Bill Young's life,  " A life that Matters" I believe the author was unknown, but I would love to know who wrote this lovely piece.

The last tribute was by his very close friend The Hon. Gordon England, former US Deputy Secretary of Defense.This was a moving tribute to lifelong friendship, and it made us all stop and reflect as how we can be better friends to those we care about.

This church has the benefit of many professional musicians and vocalists and the music yesterday was perfect in every way. Simple and moving. I am sure every piece was specifically asked for by the Chairman himself.
"Softly and Tenderly" sung by Julie Pigsley, "Grampa" sung by Susie and David McMillan, "My way" sung by Ryan Julian,: How Can I Live With out you" and closing with " Going Home" By Susie and David.

Flags were flying, everywhere and our Veteran Motorcycle troop was standing at attention. This was not a day of maudlin thoughts, this was a day of a celebration of a "True Patriot" who will never be forgotten by those he has served!


  1. Sandy, needless to say I'm speechless and teary eyed. Thanks you for sharing part of your day with us.

  2. I am so proud to live in a country with men like this. Thank you for sharing it and allowing us to stop and reflect on how we can all be better Americans.

  3. Praying for the family! Thank you for sharing.

  4. It was a privilege to be able to be there, when you go to a Veteran's hospital or are a recipient of their care, remember this man and his wife. He was gentle, and kind, but boy could he move mountains!