Who? Richie Donovan! You won’t have known him but I did and he deserves to be honored if only posthumously.
I first met Richie about twenty-five years ago. He had just retired and relocated from New York City to our small southern town. He was easy to meet, like and respect. He always wore a smile.
As I got to know him he told me a little about himself. During World War II Richie enlisted in the US Navy and served in the Pacific theater. Upon his return to NYC he went to work as a pressman at the Daily News. His peers made him an officer in the labor union. When labor and management had battles, Richie Donovan got his “Irish up.” He was not a physically large man but he was certainly a born fighter.
A few years ago, his health and that of his wonderful wife began to fail. His son lived in NYC and insisted that Richie and Marian return there so that he could look after them. Being a fighter, Richie needed to be convinced. Ultimately he was and the move back to NYC was happening.
One of his last acts of friendship toward me occurred when he delivered his flag pole and American flag to our home. “We won’t need this in the apartment we are moving into. I wanted you to have it.” He turned to go down my driveway for the last time. As he did he erupted in song. In his best Irish tenor voice he enthusiastically sang “God Bless America.”
To this day I vividly recall that moment. I would only add, God Bless Richie Donovan. Your flag still flies here. I honor your memory every time I see it.
Suggestion: Don’t fail to appreciate those in your life who honor our flag and our country.