I wish you could have met my abuelo, Edward Brooks. He was a sharp dresser and made friends everywhere. He passed away shortly after my sister Michelle’s wedding in 2009. Born in 1916 in Roatan (a Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras), he joined the Merchant Marines in his late teens and immigrated to the U.S. He became a citizen through service and was active during World War II.
My grandfather was full of life and told the most amazing stories about his experiences around the world and in his Bronx neighborhood. He also shared with his grandchildren all the hardships he faced as an immigrant in the U.S. He was ecstatic to cast a ballot for Barack Obama, the first African American president. Throughout his life, he showed us the importance of hard work, determination, and having a joy-filled spirit. If he were still around I’m sure he’d be out canvassing for his nieta.
Like many families, I have members who have served or currently serve in the military. On this Veteran’s Day, we take a moment to thank those who have served our country. We must recommit ourselves to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world – because we should never risk servicemembers’ lives without good cause.
Let’s honor our troops at every stage of their service to our country – abroad and at home. We must make sure that all veterans have access to employment, housing, and health care when they return. For my grandfather and the many veterans across the country, let us honor their service by ensuring we have a democracy that values and respects all people.
Te amo y extraño abuelo. ❤️
Pictured in photo: Becky (sister), Grandpa Edward, Mom, Michelle (sister), Doogie (brother-in-law), Dad, Me, and Ellie (sister).