Father’s Day 2013

Especially poignant this year

All I can really say now is that you sacrificed more than I knew at the time…

you dared more than I understood…

you showed more courage in your life than i can imagine, even now…

your optimism in the face of daunting adversity still lifts my spirits when I’m down…

your mistakes taught me to work on myself and on my marriage, which is so much stronger because of what of I’ve learned…

you always allowed yourself to cry, and that has been a gift to me, which I’ve passed on to my son…

I have never doubted your love though I know it’s often been hard for you to express it…

I know you are frightened today; I would be too.

I will see you soon.

I love you, Dad.

WWII-ClarenceThurman-orig

*That’s my dad on the far lower right in a picture taken on his base in England. He was the navigator on this Flying Fortress B-17 that was shot down during a mission over Germany during WWII. He spent almost a year as a POW in Stalag Luft III, made famous in the film, The Great Escape. He and the other POWs endured a terrible forced march during that final winter of war, suviving to be liberated by General George Patton. His waist gunner and tail gunner, pictured above, both died when their plane was hit.

Here’s a closer shot of my dad in pilot training after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and before he decided to become a navigator…

clarence-thurman-armyaircorps

 

Special thanks to my sister, Cheryl, for finding these old pictures and scanning them for me.