FOR: The late James S. Pinkney from his son, Larry Pinkney


Though you passed on from this earth some years ago, not a day passes that I am not reminded of you. Your humor, your skills, and most of all your love grow stronger – not weaker – with the passage of time. I remember, as if it were yesterday, how calm you were in the face of so many adversities.

Dad, I was often critical of you. You remember…I was a part of that ‘know it all’ generation that thought it could and would change everything for the better. I was young and sometimes foolish, but dad, I just want you to know that there was never an instant that I did not admire you. You and mom instilled principles that I have never forgotten. You both did the best that you could do. I did not always understand the hardships that you endured for me and the rest of our family, but I knew that you were always there for me. And though I know that we all have our imperfections, I could never have asked for a better father.

Yes, dad, I’m a grown man and still trying to change this nation and world for the better. And sometimes it seems that so many people are blind, mean, or stuck on stupid – hating each other and/or using each other – for their own greedy, selfish purposes. I often wonder, ‘what would dad do or say in these circumstances?’

You were so many things: a planter, a mechanic, a musician, a soldier, a school teacher, a human – but above all else – you were my father. THANK YOU!

Dad, I miss you so much and there are no words to adequately tell you how much I love and admire you and all that you did for me. Perhaps the old song by the Chi-Lites (from back in the day) titled, Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was, best summarizes what I’ve been trying to say to you. ( Wherever you are – listen and smile as do I when I think of you.

Please let these grateful words be my ode to you. May you rest in eternal peace…

Your loving son,


Photo of flag draped coffin of James S. Pinkney with Honor Guard

Flag draped coffin of James S. Pinkney flanked by US Military Honor Guard
(June 29, 2007)

US Presidential Certificate for James S. Pinkney signed by President George W. Bush in 2007 (image below)

The United States of America
honors the memory of
James S. Pinkney

This certificate is awarded by a grateful nation in recognition of devoted and selfless consecration to the service of our country in the Armed Forces of the United States.

George W. Bush
President of the United States

Photo of US Presidential Certificate for James S. Pinkney

US Presidential Certificate for James S. Pinkney signed by President George W. Bush in 2007


12 Responses to Ode To My Father – JAMES S. PINKNEY / Certificate Awarded from the U.S. President, 2007

  1. Mikii Hooper says:

    Awesome,and beautifully inspiring from the heart and pen of a warrior, teacher, writer,activist. I shared on Facebook. You are my hero after my husband of 57 years celebrated on 8/18/2013. He is also awesome.

  2. Mikii Hooper says:

    Inspiring I shared on Facebook.

  3. WATERS, GEORGE F. says:


    • Larry Pinkney says:


      In addition to your respect for my father, I shall always remember, with humility and appreciation, when you took me to see Malcolm X back in 1961.


  4. TruthSeer says:

    I feel these words of love transcend our worldly perspective and do, indeed, reach the ones who they are intended. Love is a powerful delivery force…and our parents are the first to show us the ways of Love in this world.

    Bless you Larry…and your family

    • Larry Pinkney says:

      YES, “love,” especially that of “our parents,” can “indeed transcend”… “worldly perspective[s]” as well it should.

      Thank you so much for writing!!!!!

      Larry Pinkney

  5. Philip 'Phil' Reiss says:

    Larry, Your admiration and love for your father was so compelling. I hope that my 46 year old son will one day, when I’m gone, feel and say what you did here.

    • Larry Pinkney says:

      I’ve no doubt whatsoever that your son feels about YOU as I do about my late father. Cherish each other NOW while you can both touch and “feel” one another. In the hearts and minds of those who love and cherish us — we shall NEVER be “gone.”

      I am grateful that you wrote.

      Larry Pinkney

  6. As I read through this wonderful dedication I could not help but think of my own father who like James S. Pinkney also served in the Korean War. “Most of all your love grow stronger – not weaker – with the passage of time” is a sentence that truly hit home with me and I must say it was a nice touch adding the Chi-Lites song to this. No doubt James Pinkney was very proud of his son.

  7. Joy Miller says:

    Larry, as I read these words I thought of my Uncle Jimmy and the memories that are so very real to me. Your daddy, was such a great man. I remember the gardens, such good eating. I also think of the times when I needed a mechanic, Uncle Jimmy was ” The Man”. His music, I liked and admired his great ability to whistle and sing. He was a “jack of all trades.” One of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. He was there for me when I needed tender loving care. I too, miss him and feel honored to have had him in my life.

  8. wallace short says:

    God rest his valiant soul and grant peace that understanding to his surviving family members and friends. Mr. James S. Pinkney earned his rest in the bosom of Abraham. I never met Mr. James S. Pinkney, but I have met his son who has honored his father’s legacy by serving humanity.

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