Thank You All!
Mon, 14 Feb 2005 01:43:07 +0000
I really don't know if tonight I can muster the words to appropriately express to all of you how much your kind words and thoughtfulness have meant to my family and me this past week. In addition to the emailed condolenses and support, many other dear friends continued calling in from everywhere, and I am so sad that I do not have most of their addresses to communicate to them my appreciation for their loving words also.
One never really knows how much a person has contributed to this life until we have to finally say goodbye. His father died during the depression, and he had to work in his early teens to get my grandmother and himself through those very trying times. Nevertheless, he studied hard enough in school to be accepted to The University of Alabama at the age of 15. He excelled as a big band leader, violinist, and upright bass player before he answered the call to serve his country which included landing at Normandy and surviving his way all the way to Germany. Major Albert Braxton Connell was a soldier and patriot who sacrificed all but his life to assist the freeing of Europe, but he NEVER mentioned a word about any of his constant tribulations or multiple wounds during World War II. He was a civic leader, a humanitarian, a loving husband, father and grandfather, not to mention a joy and inspriration to everyone who met him. .
The U.S. Army sent one of the most impressive units that any of us had ever witnessed at a military service. The very moving moment for me was when I realized that taps was being played, not by the bugler from the Army, but one of the trumpet players who played with "Al Connell's Rhythm Lads" in the 1930's. After the Army's impressive precision folding of the flag, which two of the soldiers lifted from atop his coffin, the Officer in Charge presented it to our step mother/grandmother; but as my sons and I helped her to the vehicle she was to leave in, she handed the flag to my sons and said, "Your grandfather wanted you to have this." There couldn't have been a more moving or fitting end for all of us that glorious day that he finally was relieved of the dreadful Alzheimer's disease.
Again, thank you for your prayers...we love all of you,
Bill & Laura Connell, Terry Connell, Nathan Connell & Braxton Connell