Remembrance of Pride in Service, Love of America

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

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When Max Shiver came home from World War II, there was pride in being an American and a spirit in America that was felt from “sea to shining sea.”

Judy Shiver sat thoughtfully as she remembered when Max, a fresh-faced young man came marching home from World War II.

“Max was a senior at Pike County High School,” Judy Shiver said. “He was 17 years old so he was not old enough to join the military but he wanted to serve his country. A lot of schoolboys felt just like Max.”

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There was a feeling of patriotism that was sweeping the country. Many parents understood the calling their sons were expressing and, like Max Shiver’s parents, signed for them to join the military.

Young Max Shiver’s sweetheart, Judy, tried to talk him into finishing his senior year before joining the military.

But, Max Shiver was determined to serve his country in the U.S. Navy.

“Max first went to the Great Lakes for training and then he was sent to California on a cattle car,” Shiver said. “He served as a Navy Coxswain-LCS in the South Pacific from 1944-46.”

When the sailor came home, he and his high school sweetheart married and he embarked on his chosen career as an electrical engineer.

The couple moved away and lived in New York, which was vastly different from Josie, Alabama. They later moved to Georgia and were happy there until, Max announced one day that he wanted to go home to Pike County.

Judy Shiver said that, during all that time, her husband kept his memories of World War II to himself.

“Max talked very little about what he had seen and done,” she said. “But, he always took pride in his service and always honored those who served with him and before him. He loved his country and was proud that he had the opportunity to serve America.”

Judy Shiver said, when her husband’s health began to fail, he mentioned his time of service more, often, but still rather hesitantly.

“I don’t know why Max talked so little about his service,” she said. “But, he always honored America in every way he could and was grateful that he had the opportunity to serve.”

Shiver said, perhaps, those who serve America, especially, during wartime, have a deeper understanding of what it means to be an American and why all Americans should honor Independence Day.

July 4, 2023, Americans will celebrate 247 years of independence that was won by those who held stories of the cost of war close to their hearts. Max Shiver died March 25, 2023 at the age of 96. He was one of the two surviving WWII veterans in Pike County.

Judy Shiver said, as a teenager, she loved Max Shiver with agape love and continues to do after his death. And perhaps, that is the way soldiers, who do battle, love America — with no restraints, no reservations and no regrets.