O fato aconteceu em El Paso, Colorado, nessa sexta dia 07 de fevereiro e, apesar do clima frio, da neve intensa e estradas geladas na sexta-feira, centenas de pessoas de todo o Colorado apareceram no cemitério nacional de Pikes Peak para homenagear o veterano aposentado da Força Aérea, sargento Clyde Henry Baldwin. O sargento Baldwin tinha 91 anos quando faleceu.
O sargento-mor Baldwin lutou na Guerra da Coréia, servindo a UASF e os EUA , de 1950 a 1970.
Ele era do Kansas, com seu único parente conhecido vivendo lá agora, incapaz de comparecer ao funeral de sexta-feira devido à sua idade de 93 anos e à incapacidade de viajar.
“Gostaria de chamá-lo de irmão”, disse Robert Aholt, um militar da USAF presente.
“Mesmo eu não servindo nas forças armadas, ainda sinto que ele faz parte da nossa família” afirmaram varios outros presentes.
Muitas pessoas que saíram às 9 da manhã sentiram o mesmo e um grupo de militares de uma base proxima portava cartazes com os dizeres; ” Somos todos sua famìlia Sgt Baldwin”.
Por coincidência, o falecimento do Veterano da USAF aconteceu no mesmo dia em que mais de 300 pessoas compareceram ao funeral de um herói da Segunda Guerra Mundial altamente condecorado do Reino Unido, depois que correu a noticia de que ele não tinha família para comparecer ao culto.
I never met the man we just buried. None of us did. I do not know if he was white or black, a man of faith or not, a husband or father or brother. I do not know if he experienced the pain of losing his family or lived a life of solitude. I only knew that there was one last thing we could do for him. Early last night a news station posted a brief article. Staff Sgt. Clyde Baldwin had died. The local VFW was asking for volunteers to attend his funeral so that he would not be laid to rest alone. Other than his name and rank the only other thing I knew was that he served our country in the Air Force, through Korea and Vietnam, from 1950-70.The funeral was in the morning and a snow storm was rolling through Colorado. My heart condition triggers in cold, so I would need to wear my warmest clothes and be cautious, but I would definitely be in attendance. I sent a note to a friend whose son is in the Air Force Academy nearby in case they didn’t know. She confirmed that they were planning on sending a team of cadets. I woke early in case the roads were poor and headed out for the hour and a half drive to the cemetery, not sure what to expect. The roads were bad. Whiteout conditions most of the way. I wondered if anyone would be there. Would the Academy send cadets in these conditions?A few miles from the cemetery I noticed the same cars taking the same turns as me. Maybe there’d be a few others for the service. I was about three miles out when I realized the long line of cars that had gradually formed in front and behind were all going to the same place. We turned onto the country rode on which the cemetery is located. Hundreds of cars were parking along the shoulders in both directions, the parking lot having filled long ago. It turns out Staff Sgt. Clyde Baldwin had one last thing to do for us before he left. He brought together men and women, young and old, rich and poor, to show us in this day of division that compassion and love for complete strangers still exists. He managed to bring hundreds of us together, outside in the middle of a snowstorm in the dead of winter in Colorado, to prove to us that the best of us is still here. He reminded us of our humanity. We came from all walks of life and all around the area, our reasons for attending overlapping. We came to pay our respects, to say a prayer, to lower his casket into the cold, wintry ground with warmth in our hearts. We lose vets every day who think no one cares. We came to say we do. You are not forgotten. We came to say thank you to all those who have served, are serving and will serve so that we may enjoy our prosperous lives and freedoms. We came so that an elderly man would not be laid to rest alone. Staff Sgt. Clyde Baldwin, we came to say we are forever indebted and eternally grateful. May you Rest In Peace.
Posted by Don Rohacek on Friday, February 7, 2020
- Com informações da Colorado TV KRDO em reportagem de Dani Fried via redação Orbis Defense Europe.
- Link da matéria original: