Do you remember The War of 1898? Me either, but I do remember The Spanish-American War, some battles of which were fought in the
Cecil Johnson, my uncle through my marriage to Corey’s mother, is a surviving son of Patrick. For all of Cecil’s adult life, he has pursued some honor for his father and this year he finally got the long delayed recognition from the U. S. Government for which his father fought. The government even sent Tennessee Congressman Lincoln Davis, who was instrumental in securing the honor, and an Honor Guard to highlight the laying of a plaque at Pvt. Johnson’s grave in the
It was not an easy path to obtaining the government’s recognition, mostly because of a house fire that destroyed all of the soldier’s military papers. However, through the wonder of the “information age” a grandson found the records online and with the aide of Congressman Davis, the honor came about recently.
Two of the photos used here were scanned from the Roane County News, one showing Cecil walking away carrying the flag and shell casings, used in the 21-gun salute, presented to him after the ceremony, and another fuzzy shot of the grave marker.
I see Cecil and his wife Joyce once or twice a year, but always at my granddaughter Lily’s birthday party. I’ve included this year’s shot from the party, and also a shot of him, Corey, and me when we all wore younger men’s clothes.
Cecil was also a veteran of the Korean War, and suffered many ordeals while in country. Cecil’s brother, Willis, also followed in their father’s footsteps by serving in World War II.
Of course, I never knew Cecil’s father, but I know he would have been proud of his son. Cecil is a quiet man, with much internal strength. He never fails to offer me his hand, a smile, and often a hug when we meet. I’ve always been proud of him too, and looked up to his silent strength. He and Joyce will always be family to me.
This newspaper article came to my attention just in time for me to post it in honor of Patrick Johnson, and for all who served and died to make this country free.
Have a wonderful and reflective Memorial Day!