Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
The Heartbeat of Haverhill thought today’s Memorial Day observance taught by example.
What do you do when the sound system breaks and causes lengthy delays? You find another way.
What do you do when the heat and humidity cause some to fall ill, or leave the event early? You press on.
What do you do when each gust of wind brings a shower of inch worms down around your head and clothes? You brush them off without complaint.
What do you do when the broken sound system means you cannot hear the speeches? You keep trying or reflect on the meaning of the day.
What do you do when a longer than expected Memorial Day event threatens to conflict with your barbecue plans? You stay put; the barbecue can wait.
HAVERHILL’S MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE 2014 IN SLIDE FORMAT (39 slides)
Memorial Day is one day when we stop as a nation and think of the brave men and women who did not “lose” their lives in service to our country, but knowingly “gave” their lives to protect the nation we all believe in. That unimaginable gift deserves our attention regardless of the minor inconveniences and discomforts we personally experience. And so it was in Haverhill today. Haverhill did itself proud with the Haverhill High School and Middle School bands, the Italian American Drum and Bugle Corps., rows of uniformed veterans marching in honor of their fallen brothers and sisters, our city’s present and future leaders, service organizations, and crowds of respectful, flag wielding citizens saying “thank you” when no words can express the debt of gratitude we owe.
The Heartbeat of Haverhill met a family today who put this “summer” holiday into perspective. Memorial Day is not about gassing up the BBQ, or planting seedlings or even about my dad who flew 25 missions with the army airforce in World War II and today is a spry 89 years old. As proud as I am of him, his day is Veteran’s Day (and Fathers’ Day). The family I met reminded me that Memorial Day is for men and women like PFC Eric Currier.
“Eric joined the United States Marine Corps in December of 2008 as a Rifle man. After graduation from SOI (school of infantry) he was assigned to 3rd Battalion 6th Marine Regiment. He was deployed in January 2010 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. On February 17, 2010, Eric was killed in action in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan.” H4F website.
Eric left behind a proud and strong wife Kaila and a dedicated family determined not to let the memory of Eric fade, but even more importantly to turn that memory from heartache to promise in the lives of other military personnel. Kaila and her father Ray Parkhurst of Haverhill co-founded a charitable organization called Hunt4Freedom (H4F) in Eric’s memory. H4F funds hunting retreats for injured (traumatized or physically) combat veterans. Hunt4Freedom provides a relaxing environment full of laughter and life, where guests can spend a peaceful weekend away from their hardships. People call Eric a “Hero” for his work in Afghanistan, but THOH thinks he is also a hero for inspiring others through his memory.
And for all who have lived the sacrifice we say ” We remember, we honor, and we go forward”.
ERIC CURRIER’S LEGACY
If you would like to learn more about Hunt4Freedom click on this link http://www.hunt4freedom.com/.
(c)2014 by Alison Colby-Campbell