Sunday, July 17, 2011

Helmut Eric Nimke - 90 Years Young

My Dad's Birthday Celebration

A Speech

* son
* husband
* soldier
* father
* engineer
* boat builder
* reader
* student of history
* lover of art
* traveler
* citizen
* compassionate democrat
* grandfather and great-grandfather

Mom and Dad - 68 years married
Dad had some definite ideas about how he wanted to celebrate his 90th birthday. It had to be at West Point. His family and old friends had to gather around. Good food and drink had to be abundant. The cake featured his design in keeping with a patriotic theme. And there had to be opportunity fora speech. Thus it was.

My father's speech was motivated by his tremendous gratitude for the gift of American citizenship. He arrived here at the age of eight years. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. He is a student of history and keen observer of the national and international scene. He spoke of his concern for our troops and his belief that they should all have been home a long time ago. He sopke of a country that has lost its fundemental bearings as a democracy for all, serving all. He spoke of the absence of compassionate capitalism in a time when corporations seem the only worthy charities in the eyes of many. He spoke from his experience of the Great Depression and World War II; from his firsthand knowledge of the benefits of US Citizenship, free higher education at City College of New York and the G.I.Bill; from his commitment to organized labor.

My parents remain in their own home (not without worry by his daughters). He drives and cares for my mother. He reads a great deal and is still performing mechanical miracles which would be daunting to others like replacing the motor in the snow blower he continues to use!

Blessings on this next year, Dad!

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