Honoring Dad on Memorial Day
On Memorial Day weekend I think about my dad, Lt. Col. Horace Meredith, who had a proud career as an Air Force meteorologist.
Dad was just finishing advanced training at the war college when WWII ended. Aviation technology was making amazing strides into supersonic flight, heavy jet transport design, and complex air operations. Dad taught weather flying safety classes, wrote training articles for the Air Force flying magazine Combat Crew, and developed his own flight rules to keep air crews safe. When missions were flying he often stayed at the air base for days to follow the operation until all returned safely. He once confronted Gen. Curtis LeMay about peacetime missions being sent into thunderstorms; Dad’s efforts led to a change in policy by Strategic Air Command to never fly a peacetime mission into dangerous weather. Many pilots lives and numerous aircraft were saved by my father’s efforts.
Recently we saw the heroic Navy Seal team complete a dangerous mission in Pakistan, but I think of all the quiet heroes serving America in many other ways. My father’s parents were dedicated Quakers, but when their four sons were called to serve they did not ask them to decline as conscientious objectors – I think they knew that no one would be free to observe their beliefs if the war was lost.
My dad is my hero and although I won’t be standing at his grave on Memorial Day – I will be honoring him with my memories of him and the values he taught me.
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