Honoring My Dad, Emil Navor and my Uncle Nicky, on Veteran’s Day

Emil Navor, WWII


As it’s Veteran’s Day weekend, I’d like to honor my dad, Emil M. Navor, who was in the US Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps in the Pacific arena during World War II. Of course he often joked that Army intelligence, counter or otherwise, was an oxymoron. After the war, he attended college on the GI Bill and became a high school English teacher. When my brother and I were kids, he used to read bedtime stories to us, really great books…exciting ones. I attribute my love of reading and writing to him. He often spoke about how he loved the Philippines and its people.

I’d also like to honor my uncle Nicholas Novogrodsky who died after the attack on Pearl Harbor but in the waters not far from that base when his plane went down. He was my mother’s younger brother. I wasn’t exactly named for him. Nicola would’ve been the choice had that been the case, but my parents were on the eclectic side, you see. However, the letter “N” was chosen for my first name to honor and remember him. The village of Woodridge, NY, where he grew up and went to high school named a road “Novogrodsky Road” after him as a remembrance. My mother and grandmother never really got over his loss. You see, freedom has a heavy price. It’s not free.

Honoring our Fallen Heroes

American Flag

As everyone knows, the United States military is so bad arsed that when they wake up in the morning and their feet hit the floor Satan and his minions tremble, saying, “Oh, sh*t, they’re awake.”

After all, it’s a well known saying and popularly held belief that God Himself anointed the American military to take care of things He needed a few strong hands on the ground for. Our politicians have not always lived up to that edict from above, but our soldiers and sailors have.

Lest We Forget

We’ve all seen the photos that rip your heart out of the wives of fallen soldiers hugging tombstones, clinging to  the casket before burial. We’ve seen the confused and frightened look of toddlers, the resolute gaze of tweens and teens determined to support their bereft mothers. And it’s broken our hearts.

We’ve seen veterans with missing limbs honoring their fallen comrades in arms and it’s brought tears to our eyes.


Yes, by all means, we do gather with family and friends for picnics, barbeques, and family feasts. Grandmothers wip up their menus that are tried and true family favorites. Dads show their prowess at the grill. This is all as it should be. We celebrate living.

We are a nation that can do both with gusto. Remember and honor our dead and at the same time revel in life.

Father God, look down on our nation. Send your Holy Spirit to our land to guide us in your will and your way. Amen, in Jesus name.