Saturday, June 12, 2010

Normandy - D-Day Week 2010, "Cal my pal."

At the close of ten days with my friend, Jack Port (D-Day Veteran) and his grandson, Keaton, there are so many emotional stories. But, one looms large. It is the story of a ten-year-old boy named Cal.

On the afternoon of June 3rd, the Director of the American Normandy Cemetery, Dwight Anderson, gave us a fascinating and heartfelt tour of that glorious place.

At about 5:00 we were finishing when we met a young family that was also touring the cemetery and were introduced to their son Cal. He is a cancer patient and the Make A Wish Foundation had sponsored the trip. Cal’s parents explained that although it has been a difficult journey, he is now doing fine.

Cal is an American Hero. Wearing his 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles) cap and the world’s biggest grin, he was living his dream. His wish was not to go to Disneyland or a major league baseball game, but rather to be in Normandy on D-Day!

Jack and Cal immediately bonded. Jack called him, “Cal my pal.” At 5:30 the ceremony to lower the flag began. After “Old Glory” was unclipped from the rope Jack and Cal folded the flag together and then stood side by side as “Taps” were played.


Cecily Lowdermilk Baldassare said...


John Lowdermilk said...

Hi Jeff, This is a great story and I'm wondering how Cal became interested in the history of Normandy? Last night Pam and I attended a fund raiser for "Reel Recovery" which is a non-profit that takes cancer pateints Fly Fishing as a form of healing. Do you think that Cal would like to learn to fly fish on a retreat? The fund raiser last night raised enough money to pay for all the individual men and young mens next retreat at 100% of the cost. Send me an email and let me know. I have been donating my time and money to this program for several years now and it is miraculous to see the healing benifits the cancer patients gain from this experience. SALUTE TO ALL OUR HEROES!!!

Chris and Paige Naughton said...

Wow, this is so humbling to read. We had a wonderful time in Normandy and made many great memories. Cal is actually 12 years old and is a survivor of bilateral retinoblastoma (cancer of both retinas). He had his left eye removed (I know, his prosthesis is AMAZING)and the right eye was treated with chemo and lasers. He is in remission but is at risk of secondary cancers as he enters puberty. So when his dr asked last summer if he had a wish he wanted to fulfill, Cal spoke up and said, "Oh, yes!" He's be interested in military since he was little. Noticed soldiers' boots at age 2 or 3 and wanted to dress up any chance he got. I definitely think he has a future in military or history. He has such a passion! Thanks for sharing our story and glorifying our military heroes!

Vivo said...

Jeff you are a wonderful story teller! Thank you for sharing with us. Keep up the good work and I am looking forward to seeing more photos!