Eleven brothers joined the military in World War II. He was the eldest. A silent killer went after this 94-year-old war veteran where he lived in a New Jersey veterans home. Coronavirus won Hopp’s last battle. President Barack Obama reminded us of what patriotism means with his tweet.
This latest war invaded America and has settled across the country, an invisible enemy as deadly as any bomb or sniper’s fire. This year’s Memorial Day will include remembering those veterans who were killed by the coronavirus.
The WWII soldier’s plane did not disappear over enemy lines to never return, to never be found — an open wound. No, the veteran’s state-run home became “one of the nation’s worst hot spots,” according to The Associated Press (AP). This is where he fought his last battle — and lost.
President Obama reminded people why we celebrate this Memorial Day. Another soldier Robert Hopp served in the Vietnam War. He was riding in a notoriously dangerous form of aircraft, a helicopter. When the copter took gunfire, everyone on board was killed. Hopp climbed “into the pilot’s seat” to fly it back. After his two and one-half tours, he came home with is well-deserved Purple Heart.
Hopp had diabetes and ended up in the hospital fighting COVID-19. He died last month at the age of 70. His family tweeted:
‘On Memorial Day, we honor those who gave all for us. That takes different forms this year, but it’s even more vital with the loss of so many veterans to COVID-19. The way they lived, in service to one another, should be our roadmap in the months ahead.’
Hopp’s stepson said:
‘We couldn’t even have a funeral for him yet. There’s not really anything we can do right now. All we’ll probably do is talk about him, maybe go for a walk out in the sun.’
Twitter world lit up when President Obama posted this tweet. Check out how Americans responded to 44’s words below:
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