Monday, September 12, 2011

A Legacy of Strength

Henry C. Pritchett

My grandfather once told me a story of World War II - about marching through France and into Germany. His regiment had been assigned to guard the last standing bridge in the area.

 It was supper time and he and a buddy sat down under a tree to eat. My grandfather stood and walked over to refill his coffee tin - he said that by the time he heard it - it was too late - the tree his buddy was seated under was gone.

He didn't talk much about his experience in WWII.  He didn't consider himself a hero.  He just saw it as his duty. He said, "We simply did what we were told."

I've seen the maps. I know where he was- and he is my hero.

He marched into the thick of it to do a job that had to be done. Maintaining control of the bridges was a key part of WWII - they held control of the bridge that night and for several days following.
When the job was done, they marched on toward their next assignment - and right into the heart of Germany.

I can only imagine that he faced those dark days as he did all other challenges in his life- with a full-throttle dogged determination towards success.

We owe a debt of gratitude to him and to all of those like him who went to simply do what had to be done. He never wanted any credit for it. He was just glad to finally have been returned to his family.

He built them a home, brick by handmade brick with sand from the creek. He was a farmer and a skilled carpenter.  He became well known throughout the neighboring small towns in North Georgia for his work ethic and the quality of his cabinetry. He and my grandmother Nina, survived the loss of their first born son;  raised two more sons and a daughter- each in his own way possessing that same sense of  bravery and fortitude which had served him so well.

He passed away this morning on September 12, 2011.

It was also on this day 70 years ago, that he married my grandmother.
He joins her now on their anniversary.

Henry C. Pritchett was one of the strongest people I've ever known. I am grateful for his hard work and perseverance. I am grateful for warm, wonderful childhood memories at the farm, and I am grateful for his service to this country.

He leaves a legacy of strength- one we can be very proud of.


Gidget said...

That is so amazing that he joined your grandmother on their anniversary. Everything happens in God's time - I know you and your family miss him but I'm glad to hear that he's with our Saviour.

Thank you for sharing his story - my grandfather was also in WWII on a sub and I know that I cherish his stories.

Jill said...

What a beautiful tribute to one amazing man.

You have my deepest sympathy.

Carin said...

My heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your grandfather. He sounds a truly remarkable man. Thanks for sharing his strength with the rest of us. Your tribute was beautiful. He, and his family, are in my prayers.

Regina said...

My own grandfather was a World War II veteran. They were such a humble generation, weren't they? Thank you so much for sharing with us and my prayers are with your entire family.

SHALOM said...

It's good to see that people still honor the legacy of their grandparents. there is so much that our children need to know.

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

thank you all so much for your sweet comments! we have had an amazing out-pouring of love and sympathy from our friends. Knowing that he is with Jesus makes all the difference!

Jackie said...

Wow, what a great tribute to your grandfather, I love hearing about "back in those days" things were so differnt...people worked hard and didnt expect anything in return, I'm sorry for your loss Kelli

Promise Christian Academy said...

Such a beautiful life. Wish there were more and more like him instead of less and less. So grateful to you for sharing his story, I'm going to share it with my sons.