BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ/Gray News) - A man in central Kentucky took to his lawn this week to pay tribute to a World War II veteran who passed away from COVID-19 complications.
John Lemmings posted a video on Facebook where he played taps to salute William H. Miranda Jr.
Miranda Jr. was 96-years-old and lived in Boyd County, Kentucky. Lemmings said he felt it was important to pay tribute to the war veteran in his Facebook post
“This is very, very dangerous and people need to start taking it serious,” said Miranda’s son, Richard.
Richard told WSAZ his father was on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was injured and later awarded two Bronze Stars for his service.
"He was my hero," Richard said. "I was very proud of him."
Richard says he wanted to share his father's story to make people realize how dangerous COVID-19 can be, as well as to make sure William didn't become just a number or statistic.
"I was watching the broadcast Monday and they said, 'A 96-year-old from Boyd County had passed away,' and I saw the story that you guys did on the guy who had become the fourth one in West Virginia, and he didn't want to be known as the fourth one, and so I thought my dad needed to be known."
The last time Richard saw his dad was about a week before he passed, as William started showing symptoms a few days later and was isolated. Like many who succumb to the virus, William died without any family around.
"The thing I really want to stress to people around here is, please take this serious. You just don't know who has it."
As the Miranda family prepares to say their final goodbyes, Richard hopes his family's story makes families realize how precious life is.
“You better love the ones close to you. Because tomorrow, this thing could take them out.”