A true American hero

Published 11:18 pm Monday, October 14, 2013

Nearly 70 years ago, Robert J. “Jack” Ewald was part of the D-Day landing force on the beaches of Normandy, France, helping to lead an invasion of Allied forces that would ultimately liberate the country and begin a chain reaction that ultimately led to the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the end of the Third Reich.

Today, the 88-year-old Sleepy Hole resident doesn’t lead much of anything, except for a quiet life of retirement from the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company, where he worked for 36 years.

On Saturday, though, Ewald will be in the lead once more, when he serves as grand marshal of the parade for the 2013 Driver Days festival, the 20th annual celebration of the event by the little village of Driver.

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Clearly Ewald’s leadership in this year’s event will not have the same historic significance as the actions he took when he waded ashore at Normandy. Instead of ducking for cover on the beach, he’ll be riding high along Kings Highway; instead of losing cherished friends along the way, he’ll make many new ones who want to honor him for his part in protecting the world from fascism.

With the heroes of World War II fading into the history books, it is entirely appropriate and admirable that the folks in Driver sought to honor this transplanted Suffolkian for his great service.

To help them bestow that honor, join the folks in Driver for their parade Saturday morning at 10 a.m. You won’t get many more chances to meet and salute a true American hero.