It seems like lately all we hear about are complaints against police officers, but most officers go about their day without incident. For one officer in metro Atlanta, Memorial Day gave him an experience he will never forget.
In Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta, Sergeant Robert Parsons noticed an elderly man who had pulled off the road. He stopped to help 92-year-old Ernest Jett.
“He looked a little lost,” says Parsons. “Then he approached my car and saluted, while wearing that hat.”
The hat said World War Veteran.
“I was shocked,” Parsons tells WSB. “I was speechless.”
It turns out Jett wasn’t just any veteran.
“He was one of the men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day,” says Parsons. “He told me how the bullets were whizzing just over his head.”
Jett told Parsons he was looking for some Memorial Day ceremony, but the Sergeant knew most had already finished. So he escorted the 92 year old to Brook Run Park and the War Memorial there.
“At that point I was not going just leave,” says Parsons. “I wanted to just listen to his stories and honor the man for his service.”
Parsons led Jett to the park and to the memorial.
“I wanted to walk him along every path and every part of the park,” says Parsons. “To introduce him to every child and adult who was there and let them know who this man is.”
At the Memorial Day event, Jett saluted the flags and, as a crowd began to gather, the veteran shared tales of his experiences in World War II with everyone who would listen.
“All I kept thinking was why wasn’t his man the center of some event somewhere,” says Parsons. “He should have been speaking at one of the events.”
Jett expressed his gratefulness to everyone at Brook Run Park and told Parsons that the city had treated him like a king. Parsons admitted that the experienced meant something to him as well.
World War II veterans are passing away at the rate of 462 per day, taking with them the living history of that war and their sacrifice.
It’s something Parsons is very aware of and, in a quiet moment, Jett spoke about.
“He said that he was getting older and that he didn’t know how many more of these Memorial Days he had left.”