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6.06.2011

D-Day thought

One of my classmates from the Naval Academy posted this on his facebook to remember those, like his father, he secured our freedom at Normandy.  They were the most amazing men - doing their job.

Eulogy for my Father

By Mark Powell

"We have come here to honor the memory of my father, Lawrence McClellan Powell, "Bunny" Powell.

My father was born October 5th, 1923. Over 73 years ago. He was a loving husband to my mother for over 49 years, a great father, a wonderful grandfather, a caring friend to many, a decorated veteran from World War II, a patriot. Dad was a man that believed in his country, in his family, and, most of all, in God and his son, Jesus Christ.

During the summer of 1994, my mother and I were sitting at our kitchen table having a quiet lunch together with my father. My father never spoke at length about the War and his participation. It was not his nature. He was involved in several major Amphibious Assaults with the Sixth Naval Beach Battalion. The most noted of these was on June 6th, 1944, D-Day. His unit arrived early, before the main invasion. Their task was to clear the beach of all obstacles. His unit sustained great casualties in some of the most intense combat of the war.

As I have previously stated, Dad never talked much about the war, but, on this summer day, he spoke at length about that event. My mother and I were stunned when he described in detail, the carnage and devastation. We were horrified.

At one point in his narrative, I looked at Dad and asked, "Were you Afraid?"

He paused, thought about it for a brief moment and answered, "You know, it is funny, you are afraid for the first 15 minutes and then you 'Do your Job'. We did our job …"

As the years have passed and I have had an opportunity to think about my father's life, this statement is a fitting metaphor for him. "We did our job."

The only addition that should be made: Bunny Powell did his job, with HONOR. For many years my mother has posted a quotation in our house: "Honor is the presence of God in Man." Honor was an important part of my father's life."

Thanks for passing this along. 

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