People often talk about what it means to be a patriot in the United States, yet few actually take the time to exhibit true patriotism in their everyday lives.
As Rona Wallace of Cypess, Texas mourned the sudden passing of her father, United States Marine Corps veteran and respected businessman Skeeter Lothringer, she caught a glimpse of patriotism in its truest form. She took to her Facebook page to share her story, and now it’s going viral.
“Yesterday during my Daddy’s funeral procession, led by the United States Marine Corps, my family noticed the man in this photo pulled over on the side of the road,” Rona wrote on Facebook. “His hat was in his hand and his hand was over his heart, honoring my father and our family as we passed by.”
“His respectful act touched my family and the entire procession so deeply,” she continued. “We passed many other cars along the way that simply went about their day.”
Rona and her family were so touched by this stranger’s small act of observation and respect that they used his license plate to track him down. His name is Ernest Boerlin, and he’s a veteran of the United States Navy. Rona quickly reached out to Earnest via Facebook message and was delighted by his reply.
“It was an honor to show my respect for a fellow serviceman and their family,” Ernest wrote to Rona. “Please accept my prayers and condolences to you and your family for your loss. Fair winds and following seas. God bless.”
Rona shared Ernest’s message, along with praise for his actions, with everyone who knew and loved her dad. Skeeter was a well-respected member of the Cypress community, and soon her message was passed around so much that Ernest felt compelled to expound upon what he saw as a simple act of respect.
“I want to thank everyone for the continued outpouring of gratitude in the past week,” Ernest wrote. “I am truly honored to have made such a big impact on so many lives. I want to thank Skeeter Lothringer for paving the way as a fellow serviceman of the U.S. Marine Corps and Purple Heart recipient. His initial sacrifice and devotion to duty was vital to this Nation’s ability to maintain the many freedoms that we cherish and so many of us take for granted or abuse.”
Ernest went on to discuss the true meaning of supporting your country, and his words are so profound that everyone should read them:
“I only hope that my actions demonstrate what I was taught by my father; that patriotism, honor, and respect can’t simply be posted on Facebook alone but must be lived every day. What may seem as a small, gesture of gratitude and respect for you may have a big impact on others, as I have learned through the past days. I pray that my actions have encouraged others to be respectful and to continue to stand up for this great country and the fallen servicemen and women who have fought for us.”
Thank you to Ernest, Skeeter, and every other member of the military for working diligently to keep us all safe. Let us all remember Ernest’s words of wisdom and do our best to support and honor our country each and every day.