12 May 2006

Sonny Montgomery -- 1920-2006


Sonny Montgomery died today.
When I was born, he was my congressman. The first time I ever voted, I voted for Sonny Montgomery.

My father had known Sonny for over sixty years. They were at Mississippi State at the same time. My father was a freshman when Sonny was a senior.

After that year, they both went off to war. My father was in the Navy serving in the Pacific Theatre. Sonny was in the Army serving in Europe.

My father was a county campaign chairman for Sonny Montgomery. Serving was more of an honor since Sonny had no serious re-election opposition in his thirty years in Congress.

Sonny had told my sister that if she ever wanted to be a congressional page all she had to do was to ask. When he heard that I scored a 99 on the academic ability portion of the ASVAB when I was a junior at Heidelberg Academy, he told me that if I was interested in attending one of the service academies all I had to do was ask.

Neither my sister or I took Sonny up on his offers. I think it would have been cool for my sister to be a congressional page. As for me, I realized when I was a student at Mississippi State that my mathematics skills were lacking. I'm an awesome analytical thinker, but am not great in calculus.

For the first twenty-nine years of my life, Sonny Montgomery was my congressman. He decided to retire after serving in Congress for thirty years. He retired about a year after my father completed serving one term as a county supervisor.

From what I understand after reading various news sites and forums, visitation will be Monday May 15. The funeral will be Tuesday May 16.

May 15 is already a day of remembrance for me. My father died on that date three years ago. Not only am I going to remember my father, but I'll also be thinking of Sonny Montgomery. I'll be thinking of Sonny's visits to Heidelberg. While he was better known for his work with veterans and the military, Sonny also believed in constituent services. When he was in Heidelberg, Sonny liked to visit my father at our family grocery store.

Sonny Montgomery is gone now, but we have our memories of what he did not only just for Mississippians, but for Americans. Rest in peace Sonny.

••••••


Links of interest:
Another Clarion-Ledger article.
Quotes about Sonny.
A chronology.
A photo gallery.
A Marshall Ramsey cartoon.
Sid Salter's blog entries on Sonny.
An AP article.
An Air Force Times article.
A Department of Defense article.
The Meridian Star.

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