The Dedication of One Man
I chose the illustration of the enduring soldier because my Grandfather was the enduring solider. Even at the age of 88, he would wake up at 6:50 and salute the United States of America. He was a Patriot, a Leader, a Warrior, and an amazing Grandfather. It was a privilege to know him, for the short time I did. It is hard for me to believe what he was able to accomplish in his life.
I got the inspiration for this illustration while interviewing my Grandmother. During the interview I asked her about her favorite memory about my Grandfather and this is what she told me.
“My favorite memory of your Grandfather was seeing him wake up every morning raising the American Flag. It was his ritual. He would wake up at 6:30 am, make his coffee, than at 6:55 am head outside. On the last chime of the clock, at 7:00 am, the flag would be up. He would stand at attention and sing the national anthem. Afterwards, he would come back into the house, give me a morning kiss say “I Love You”, and that would be the start of my day. Your grandfather had great pride for this country, even days before he pasted he was still raising the flag and saluting his country that he had so courageously fought for.”
Once she told me that story, I knew it had to become my creative project. The story she told wasn’t some extravagant gesture nor expensive vacation. It was daily routine my Grandfather would do for her. The illustration I have drawn is in honor of him. It was just part of my Grandfather’s daily routine. After he would raise the colors, salute, and sing. He would say I prayer. He would pray for his men that he had served with, the men he lost while serving, and the families they left behind. This simple gesture, every day, has become one of my Grandmother’s fondest memories. Even at 90 years old, she remembers the first time he did it and she remembers the last time he did it. That is why, I wanted to depict my Grandfather as the enduring soldier. During his life, he was always there to serve his country at anytime, just like the Reardons before him. From the Irish roots to the now citizens of this great country, the Reardons have always been their to answer the call of duty. Service before self as they would say, but my Grandfather never forgot the most important thing in his life — family. Finding time in the day to do both is arduous, but he was always able to make time for what he knew was important. I aspire to be just like him. If I am half the officer he was, I know I will make him proud.