I took a run on the 4th of July. It ended at the Veterans' Memorial Park- behind the Penfield Town Hall. It was there-- on June 23, 2012, that my High School class dedicated a plaque in honor of our classmate- Tom King.
Second Lt. Thomas G. King graduated with us 50 years ago. He died in Vietnam in July of 1967.
As classmates gathered to celebrate the half century since we graduated from Penfield High School, it seemed somehow fitting to remember one who walked across that stage with us and continues to walk with us- in spirit. Our class will be forever grateful to Nancy (Maser) Thurston who suggested we do it. "I was at the park last Memorial Day," she said, "and people carried up roses as the names of veterans were recited. No one mentioned Tom, and I thought- We have to change that!" And so we did.
I am grateful to many friends who made the ceremony possible. Peter Kelderhouse Sr. and Josh Porte were responsible for the Marine Color Guard and bugler, and bagpiper. Penfield Town Supervisor Tony LaFountain accepted the plaque-- and Penfield Community Television recorded the ceremony. (I will share a link to view it when it is available) How proud I was to hear from Penfield Students- and our class president, Kevin Harrington, who honored Tom's memory and service with such dignity.
The flowers we placed beneath the plaque were still there on the 4th of July. Faded and wilted. A reminder to me- that we must NEVER let the memories fade of those who fought- for the freedoms we enjoy today.
I had a great run on the 4th of July- a really great run!