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Opening Arguments

RIP, Anthony Arthur Gerlach

When my friend Lisa's mother Vivian died in 2010, I went with Lisa and her father Art to Lindenwood Cemetery where they made arrangements for cremation. That also happens to be where my mother and father are buried, and after we'd taken care of the arrangements, we stopped by their graves. Before we left, Lisa and Art were down on their knees, clearing away the weeds from the graves. That's the kind of guy he was -- you never had to ask him for help.

Art died this week. He was 88. He was a member of what has been called the Greatest Generation because they went out and saved the world. Art certainly did his part as a Marine, and he felt the effects of a shrapnel wound for his whole life. Those men and women did something more, too -- they knew what to do with the world once they'd saved it. All the wonders of the modern world were built on the foundation they laid.

I'm happy to say he got to go on one of the Honor Flights to Washington, D.C., last year. The wonderful people who run that program spent the day telling Art and his fellow veterans how much their service meant to the country. I'd like to add my thanks, too. Art was a good friend, and I will miss him. If you know anybody from that generation, it's time to reach out. Pretty soon there won't be any of them left.