This Man I Did Not Know.
There is this man I did not know. For me he exists in black & white and in early, faded Kodak colours. I know so many things about him. I know he was a devoted son, a gentle man, a wonderful husband and the kindest father.
Dana Page Sturtevant was like any boy who grew up in uncertain times and with hardship as a constancy and norm. He spent his childhood working hard, going to school and loving baseball.
He dove headlong into work on the railroad right of school, but like so many of his time when Duty whispered low he replied, “I can.” In April of 1942, at the age of 27 this man I did not know became a Marine.
He was “Pops” to all around him in the jungles and on the beaches of the South Pacific and his years there were exactly as one would imagine and fear. But like most of those who have sacrificed and served it is not those years that made them great, it was, and continues to be, the lives they live here with us that make the mark and raise the standard by which we judge our fellow man.
He was a wonderful husband.
He was the kindest father.
And I know he would have been the most perfect grandfather.
He would have loved and cherished that role. But fate has a different plan for many of us.
This man I did not know lived to fix things for it could not be broken long with him around. He went all the way to town to buy a wrench only to find out that it was made in a country he spent years battling and didn’t hesitate to return it and get his money back. This man I did not know was legendary for his epic camping adventures and road-trips with family to almost every Civil War battle site.
This man I did not know I owe everything to from the father of my children to the freedoms I enjoy and embrace. His years of sacrifice, service and devotion are not wasted and certainly not forgotten. I do know that he, like so many others, are due the thanks of a grateful nation and on this day, and on every day, it is remembered that all that I know to be right, just and free I owe to all those names and faces I never knew…including this man I did not know.