I occassionally find myself scanning through the Obituary section of the local paper. One of the reasons why is a morbid fascination with mortality, mainly my own, and I like to note any younger people that have passed away and perhaps the cause of death. It is always a relief to see that most people who are being remembered lived very long lives. This Sunday I came upon an obituary that I just have to share because it is so timely and says so much in a little space. The man’s name is Lewis Michael Bush and I hope his family doesn’t mind me sharing this piece on his life that they chose to share with the Orlando Sentinel community.
“He was born in Szeged, Hungary in 1927. In 1948, at age 21, determined to live in freedom, he escaped Soviet communist tyranny by walking through a minefield on the Austrian border known then as the ‘Iron Curtain’. Two years later he was admitted to the United States and settled in Miami.” (It discusses his wife and children here.) “After the 1956 Hungarian Revolt, Lewis’ two brothers fled here in God’s good time, even his parents were released and the entire family was reunited in Florida for a few happy years. Lewis lived for the American dream by working during the day and studying at night, earning his BA and MA at the University of Miami and a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Maryland. He enjoyed a life-long teaching career of English and Literature at the University of Miami, Gulf Coast Community College and Jannus Pannonius University in Hungary. In retirement he enjoyed the peace of pine woods and swamps near the Ochlocknee and Apalachicola rivers in northwest Florida. He was an avid historian especially of the American Civil War.” The rest is a summary of those he leaves behind.
This was such a refreshing read for me in a time where we see our country on the brink of socialism as bailout after bailout is handed out – the auto industry soon to be the next recipient – and people wanting the government to fix their problems. This man risked his life for what many take for granted – freedom. He worked tirelessly to better himself and use the opportunities that this great country afforded him. He assimilated so much that our personal war – The Civil War – became his favorite historical topic. This is a life worth noting and following in the footsteps of and a lesson as to where socialism can and will lead – Communism. If America slides into that abyss, then where will the world, including us, run to?