Readers, I will be off-line for the next three days so that I may honor an American hero, Leonard Herman.
Despite the economy, and my own economic problems, I am happy to be leaving tomorrow morning before dawn to fly from Idaho Falls to Minneapolis and then on to Philadelphia, PA, to attend the graveside services for my great friend, Leonard Herman. Len will be laid to rest Sunday at Mount Sharon Cemetery in Springfield, PA, just outside of Philly. Len was born and raised in Philly by parents who had emigrated from Russia, and lived in the Philadelphia area until a decade or so ago, when he moved to Columbus, GA to be with his daughter, Linda, her husband, and Leonard's grandson Jordan.
Somehow, from the reaches of rural Idaho, thanks to the internet, I was able to arrange for the Jewish War Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars to be present at the service, despite the fact that their annual conventions are the same weekend on the other side of the state. We also managed to get his obituary in the Columbus, GA paper. However, we failed in getting it into the Philadelphia Enquirer--despite the fact that they ran half a dozen stories about war hero Leonard Herman when he returned from World War Two with a chestful of medals.
My final honor to my friend is to deliver his eulogy at the graveside. It is humbling and an honor. It's also a tribute to Leonard Herman's own complete open-mindedness and respect for people from all walks of life. Where else would you find a Roman Catholic delivering the eulogy at a Jewish graveside?
Len, we love you and men such as you rarely walk amongst us. Thanks for letting us be your friend.