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Friday, September 28, 2018



 I wept today for a man I did not know. 

Angelo, the father of a friend, died last week.  He was 99. The funeral was today. I did not know Angelo.  I never met him, truthfully, I only recently became friends with his son and daughter-in-law.  You can not know a man you have never met.

I did not know the man.

I did learn he was a man with a great sense of humor, a short man no more that 5’ 5” but strong with large powerful hands.  He served in the army during WWII.  He was a Sargent for a crew that used anti-aircraft guns to protect bridges from German planes.  He was shot at and bombed on a lot.  His family found out many years after the war that he was apparently part of the Normandy landing.  They found out when they were discussing a movie about that battle and he asked, "did they show the crosses on the beach and the blood in the water?"

I just heard the stories, I did not know the man.

Angelo lost his wife when he had two young children.  He later remarried and apparently had two great loves in his life.

That is what I heard, I did not know the man.

The service was touching, a military service with a piper, a bugle, shots fired in his honor, a letter from the President, a flag folding ceremony by two ridged-with-respect soldiers.  None of those participants knew the man.

I wept with the rest of his family, I wept for a man I did not know.

Afterwards there was lunch and Angelo’s children and grandchildren told stories and smiled and laughed.  They shared many memories.

I smiled and laughed as well, even though I did not know the man.

I sensed that Angelo led a normal quiet life of great service to his country and love for his family, much like many men, probably more than most, I don’t know, I did not know the man.

I know I wept today, for a man I did not know.

He must have been a remarkable person. 

Why else would I weep for a man I did not know?


  1. I'm not at all surprised that you wept. He sounds like a remarkable man who did a great job defending his country.

  2. Reading this I can tell why your wept for a man you didn't know.

    Have a great weekend. ☺

  3. Yes it happens at times..... we never meet some people but know a lot about them as if they were a part of our life.
    Was also reminded about the B&W movie "The Longest Day"

  4. Love this post. That man left large footprints for all to see. I know how you feel. Once I came home from a funeral for the husband of a friend. I hadn't spent 10 minutes total with him but feeling that my life was diminished because I never had the opportunity to get to know him as his friends did. We should all have strangers weep at our passing.

  5. You made me weep, too!!

  6. Reading this I too wept for a man I did not know, and for the man you did not know.

  7. I think we weep for all sounds like he had a fulfilling life and was well loved and respected...who wouldn't weep for a man (or woman or child) like that?

  8. I'm going without x-ray evidence, but I'd say your heart grew two sizes that day.

  9. This is beautifully written Joe. Had I been there, I figure I would have wept with you.