The Greatest Generation lost another great member this week with the passing of Newborn’s mayor, Roger Sheridan. He was my friend.
Always the first to arrive at our many veteran brunches, Mayor Sheridan believed in his country and the American dream.
But lately, America had become an unfamiliar place to him. He recalled a nation conceived in liberty, individualism, and honor, yet saw it moving steadily into a quagmire of government dependency, lost honor, and liberties based on party affiliation.
Mayor Sheridan protected our rights of free speech and reinforced his Bill of Rights in World War II. A combat engineer, he fought with three fused disks in his back from two different back-breaking accidents. His outfit liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp, an experience he kept in mind for the rest of his life. As a civilian engineer, Sheridan visited 32 countries; earned recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for Structures (twice); erected government projects in Vietnam; and authored “Reminiscences of a Hard Hat.”
A decorated hero and Purple Heart recipient, Mayor Sheridan was the product of a generation that knew how to man-up, stand up, speak up, and get fed up.
The statement, “He will be sorely missed” is a standard condolence that falls short of this great man, this great American. Roger Sheridan is a man beyond condolences; his epitaph is one of American exceptionalism reinforced by an exceptional American.
Pete Mecca is a Vietnam veteran, columnist and freelance writer. You can reach him at email@example.com or aveteransstory.us.