I Won’t Back Down

Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell
But I won’t back down

No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back)
Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
(I wont back down)
Hey I won’t back down

(I won’t back down)
Hey baby there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey I will stand my ground
(I won’t back down)
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
No, I won’t back down
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – I Won’t Back Down

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My father was born on April 28, 1929 and he would have been 88 today. At precisely 12 noon, I buried him. It was a simple ceremony with an honor guard playing taps and the formal flag folding. The young soldiers were very serious and precise, a fine example of the men that represent the best this country has to offer. When the officer presented the flag to me and thanked my father and I for his service on behalf of a grateful nation, I could see true sorrow in his eyes. I will forever be grateful to him and his service in my time of need.

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My father was laid to rest beside many others that paid their dues so we could live a life of freedom and happiness. Safe we are behind the walls of this republic, the foundation set in the founding documents of this country that so many have fought and died for, and many take for granted. Would they feel the same had today been about their father? Would they burn the flag to spite the fallen? I for one believe they have that right BECAUSE of the sacrifice of my father and all the others, and they can choose to exercise that right if they want, but I feel they are misguided.

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My father was never one to follow politics. He had his beliefs and ideals he followed throughout his life, viewpoints about this story or that, but it was always tempered by the feeling that we should all be equal in our treatment of others. Yes he shared opinions of this group or that, sometimes even a little prejudiced in it’s manor, but he was not openly hostile towards others in public as we see on an almost daily basis now from some younger people in this country. These people take protesting too far and approach the border of anarchy. They are not fit to walk the same soil as my father but I would not take away their right to.

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As I walked down this path I felt the crush of sorrow for those who left this world in such a tragic way. Many didn’t even truly understand what they were fighting for, but they did their best for their buddies and us and I will forever be grateful. Freedom is not given, it’s earned. Earned by the sweet of our brows when we work for our pay, when the soil is tilled to grow crops to feed the many, when we help another that can’t help themselves. But the largest payment for our freedom has been paid by the military and the men and women who paid the ultimate price.

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I placed my father in the cold ground today with what was his favorite possession at the end of his life, his Korean War Hat. His mind was so muddled towards the end that a simple hat meant more to him than anything. I protected it for you dad and made sure you got it back. I cant look at that picture without breaking down, without feeling some guilt for not trying harder at the end of his life to have a closer relationship. This was the hardest day of my life and I will spend this evening alone with my dog and reflect on a life now gone and what it meant to me. Goodbye Dad, I’m sorry for everything.

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40 thoughts on “I Won’t Back Down

  1. Our dads did their duty, then they put the wars behind them, came home and raised families. My dad never spoke of WWII at any length, not enough for me to get a feel for his experience. It’s a mystery to me. He joined the Navy at 17, went to the Pacific at 18, and came back an old man of 19. Wonderful tribute post to your dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness, had no idea you did this today. Bless you for such a gracious and noble act of love. Can’t imagine how difficult it was to leave him. I hope one day you can find peace in your heart. Maybe someday when the grief slows down… Thinking of you. This is a beautiful piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to say don’t feel guilty but I can’t.. I also can’t say for you to feel guilty.. But I can say your dad is still teaching you and reminding you and probably will be the rest of your life and others that he’s impacted. Please be comforted by his legacy of character. πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The guilt that you feel will come and go as you go through the torrid plethora of emotions that follow the death of or most loved. Some days you will feel peaceful, others angry and always you will be sad. That sadness will eventurally centre itself in you but it will never leave. But it is that sadness that will carry you forwards as the man you are now rather than the man you were then. Your father rests now. Not in the graveyard that contain his remains but in you. In your heart. And he, within you is your guide, your compass and your sage advisor if you let him be. His voice will emerge from the white noise and you will hear him clear as you heard him as a child. You will feel his hand on your shoulder and you will walk with him. IN time. All in time. Go easy my dear friend, go easy on you. And when you need solace look into Vinny’s eyes for he knows exactly how you feel and he will level you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That sadness will eventurally centre itself in you but it will never leave. The guilt that you feel will come and go as you go through the torrid plethora of emotions that follow the death of or most loved.

    Liked by 1 person

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