So much has already been said, and so much more can never truly explain Harry McCawley’s effects upon and affiliations with this community.

I don’t recall just when I first met Harry. I know I once shared with him that my late wife had relatives in his hometown. Several times I approached him with ideas for stories, or requests or making others aware of notable area events or accomplishments. More than once, he obliged.

Several of those stories dealt with veteran issues. The Hope American Legion Post traditionally celebrated Memorial Day for many years by erecting white crosses with names of deceased area veterans stenciled on them. When that tradition became unwieldy, we came upon the idea of a permanent granite memorial.

We asked Harry, and he accepted, being our master of ceremonies at the dedication of that new memorial on Nov. 12, 2000. Since that time, Harry contributed other supportive stories of traditional events. His most recent story that I worked with him on, while he was undergoing treatment, was in the May 25, 2017, edition of The Republic, tracing the history of the Hope Post 229 Memorial Day services.

I also received a lot of comments from his story of my having ridden my current motorcycle in D.C., 49 states, and all Canadian provinces. He asked me a few times when I was going to go for the 50th state. I regret I have not been able to accomplish that yet, as I know he could have come up with a very interesting tale of my wanderings.

I’m thankful to say I knew Harry.

– A.C. Reeves, Columbus