Reminiscing on Memorial Day

Kay Merrill with her father, Albert Grimes, look at some photographs from WWII.
Kay Merrill with her father, Albert Grimes, look at some photographs from WWII.

On Flag Day, June 14, 2012, we celebrated a Pinning Ceremony. The ceremony was to honor a military veteran who was under Gilchrist Hospice Care and through their We Honor Veterans partnership. It was held in a private assisted living facility, attended by the staff, other residents, the Gilchrist Hospice team and family members.

My father, Albert Grimes served with the Army Air Corp in the South Pacific during WWII. He had Alzheimer’s and had lived in his home of 47 years until 2 years prior. He was soon to celebrate his 91st birthday. How fitting that this pinning ceremony was held on Flag Day.

In his fresh baby blue shirt, clean-shaven face and short haircut, he was reminiscent of days gone by. He was the center of attention. There was no old age, no aches or pains and no evidence of the Alzheimer disease here today. There was gratitude for his service and respect for the day. It was his day and he was the shinning star. He shared some anecdotes of his time overseas as clearly as if they had just happened, bringing smiles and laughter to all, his witty sense of humor rising to the occasion.

Kay, Mr. Grimes and the Gilchrist staff who attended the We Honor Veterans pinning ceremony.
Kay, Mr. Grimes and the Gilchrist staff who attended the We Honor Veterans pinning ceremony.

His pinning ceremony is a definite highlight of the last few years of his life. He was surrounded by people who all cared about him. Most of my family, some of his fellow residents and staff of his home and the wonderful and caring Gilchrist team of Anjana, Leslie and Helen, three ladies who saw him regularly, and became dear friends to he and I. He looked and sounded like my father from former years. What a treat that was as he passed away on January 22, 2013.

Thank you again to Gilchrist Hospice Care,

Kay Merrill


One thought on “Reminiscing on Memorial Day

  1. Family…. Thank you for the thoughts of Veterans on this day. As a side note of sort…I served in the Air Force ( later of course), but was always aware that I was a aircraft maintenance mechanic just like Big Al. Always get a smile at that.

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