It just takes one simple act, a gesture of respect to turn someone’s entire day around. One young boy did just that when he took the time to wait 30 minutes in the rain to show his respect for a fallen WWII vet.
Right Wing News:
Jerry O’Keefe was a larger than life hero, just as my father, Samuel W. Monroe was. Jerry enlisted a few weeks after Pearl Harbor and was one of the youngest flying aces in WWII. He went on to hold office for two terms as a conservative Democrat… despite being a John F. Kennedy Democrat in 1960’s Mississippi. In 1973, he was elected mayor.
He stood against the KKK and had them thrown in jail. The KKK called the O’Keefe home in the middle of the night to say that they were coming to kill Jerry. His response? “I will be here ready and waiting.” That’s a man of principle and character and he was certainly larger than life. His family mourns his passing. They held a high mass for him and had planes fly overhead to honor him. He was laid to rest after being brought to his final resting place in his casket on a horse-drawn carriage. But what blew them away was the simple act of a child.
From the Independent Review Journal:
Joe O’Keefe says his father, Jerry, was a “larger than life figure.”
Jerry enlisted as a Marine fighter pilot a few months after Pearl Harbor, and traveled across the Pacific to the Okinawa theater. During his first experience with hostile fighting, he shot down five planes in one day, becoming one of the youngest fighter aces in WWII. A week later, he shot down two more.
When the war ended, Jerry returned to Mississippi, and he and his wife grew their family to fifteen.
Kaiden Wade is a 9-year-old who stood in the rain for 30 minutes with his hand over his heart as the procession went past him taking Jerry O’Keefe to his final destination. That one innocent, heartfelt act rocked the family. It spoke of character, morality, and principles… the kind their father stood for.