Since the insurrection at the Capitol Building I keep thinking about my Dad and wondering what he would have thought. Frank J. Pace, son of Italian immigrants, joined the National Guard at 19 and almost lost a leg during World War II. Then he volunteered to fight in Korea when his unit was called up.

He didn’t have to go; with two small children he was exempted. But Dad went because he loved his country and thought it was his duty. Left at home with two small sons, his wife Kathryn also sacrificed in service to that sense of duty.

My Dad was a Roosevelt Democrat. When Truman was elected against long odds, my Dad wept for joy. Later he would become a Reagan Democrat, in search of the patriotic unity he had experienced during the wars.

My Dad left the U.S. Army Reserves as a Sergeant Major at mandatory retirement age. When he died suddenly soon afterward, his Army buddies made sure he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. His nation bestowed on him the same honors I had seen given to John Kennedy, a slain president. The ceremony was the same right down to the flag draped caisson and black riderless horse.  

From where my Dad, and now Mom too, lie under the Arlington earth one can see the Capitol Building. What would Dad have thought were he able to look across and see the events of Jan. 6? I believe he would have been appalled. Dad would likely have voted for Trump, but he would never condone what happened at the Capital or the part played by Trump.

If my Dad had been alive on Jan. 6, I am confident he would have been ready to again answer his country’s call, to defend the Republic from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Foreign AND domestic.

Our forefathers envisioned the day when insurrection would arise; that’s why they put that in the oath. Now it is our duty to see that those who serve this country, from the commander in chief and generals right down to the police chiefs and all who hold a badge or office, honor the oath in deed as well as word.

Some whose duty it is to protect the Capitol Building violated their oath by aiding and abetting insurrectionists. They must all be purged because they all violated their oath. During virtually every Black Lives Matter protest, members of police units aided and abetted white supremacists intent on death and destruction. Those, too, must be purged for violating the oaths they swore.

The events that transpired on Jan. 6 must be a wake-up call for all who want this Republic to continue. We must do what is necessary to preserve the Union.

I must act to honor my father’s life and memory but also because the Trump Presidency, especially these latest events, have shown me just how precious this Republic is to me and how fragile it can be when under attack from within. I must put my shoulder to the wheel, doing what I can with like-minded citizens to put an end, once and for all, to violent white supremacy.

The task will not be easy. Because I am an old man I will likely not see it completed. But I am confident that we as a people will achieve the “more perfect union” this Republic’s founders envisioned ... or we will die trying.  

I end with the words my immigrant grandparents, aunts, uncles and all the paisans were so fond of exclaiming – may “God Bless America.”

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