Monday, November 11, 2013

On Veteran's Day, WWII Hero Gets A Proper Sendoff

You've probably never heard of Harold Percival, who served in the RAF bomber command for Britain in World War II.
Harold Percival, and his obit seeking people
to attend his funeral.  

Percival died last month in Britain at the age of 99.  He was pretty much alone, and there are really no surviving family members to see him off.

His obituary had a lot of hearts skipping a beat, with this line: "Any service personnel who can attend his funeral service will be appreciated."

There are few things worse than the passing of a veteran remaining unnoticed, unmarked and ignored.

So a man named Sgt. Rick Clement did what many people do in situations like this. He took to social media and asked for help.

According to the Blackpool Gazette in Britain, Clement, who lost both legs serving in Afghanistan wrote this on his Facebook wall:

"I need a big favour from ay military or ex-serving members. This fallen soldier at 99-years old is having a funeral on Monday and he has no family to attend. If you're in the area give him the send off he deserves. This guy needs and deserves your help."
A big crowd in Britain braves the rain
to bid an Armistice Day farewell to
RAF World War II veteran Harold Percival,
who died recently at age 99. dd caption

Yes, he does.

Of course, adding to the poignancy of the situation is, it's Armistice (or Veterans) Day, when we give thanks to people who made the world safe for us.

Social media being what it is, or what it can be, would people respond?

I'm happy to report that yes, they did turn out in droves.  In a video that makes me and my eyes think it got awfully dusty in here all of a sudden, hundreds of people ignored a cold rain and turned up at Percival's memorial service.

I think what's really going on here is a lot of people want to thank all veterans for their service to us all. Percival is an honorable, cherished veteran who can help us do just that.

Thank you, veterans.

Here's what the scene looked like at Percival's funeral today:

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