Yesterday morning I was drinking my coffee and getting ready to jump on an exercise machine. At the same time, I was scrolling through my emails and noticed the NY Times had arrived in my in-box. I guess I was looking for distraction and delay from my workout.
I scrolled down the stories and saw this headline in the obituaries : Jerry Parr, Secret Service Agent Who Helped Save Reagan, Dies at 85.
Parr was just a few feet away from President Reagan when John W. Hinckley Jr. opened fire.
(From the Associated Press)
This is this part of the obituary that was lifted out of his memoir, that says his courageous thoughts and motivation when he heard the gunshots:
When he was about probably six or seven feet from the car, I heard these shots,” Mr. Parr said in a 2013 interview promoting the memoir he wrote with his wife. “I sort of knew what they were, and I’d been waiting for them all of my career, in a way. That’s what every agent waits for, is that.”
After the shots rang out, Parr grabbed President Reagan and shoved him into a waiting limousine. Parr then shouted at the driver, “Take off!”. At that point, Parr thought that they were clear of the scene and no harm had been done, until he turned to see the President spitting up blood. That’s when he told the President, ” We’re taking you to the hospital”.
Here’s the kicker to that, as listed in the obituary. His fascination with the Secret Service began when he was nine. His father took him to see a movie Code of the Secret Service. The movie starred Ronald Reagan as Agent Brass Bancroft.
When Parr’s wife was interviewed, she summarized by saying that “He felt very satisfied with his work. He felt like it was a great privilege”. A good thought for all of us!
And for pic o’ day, this just makes me laugh: