Lauren K. Ohnesorge, Staff Writer- Triangle Business Journal
Pat McCrory says a “voice,” long before the new governor was even born is the reason he’s here today.
McCrory, sworn-in Saturday as governor, ended his very public day with veterans at “A Salute to North Carolina Veterans” at the Hilton in North Raleigh- and shared a story about his grandfather, a World War I veteran, Walter McCrory.
When he received his orders, Walter was asked what he did. When he replied “pharmacist,” the sergeant spelled “farmer” on the form.
“They put him in charge of the horses,” McCrory said, laughing. “Which is a really, really big job.”
He stopped laughing when talking about his grandfather’s experience in the Battle of Verdun in France, where there were nearly a million casualties.
“Before he went to France, he wrote letters to his family, ‘I can’t wait to kill those Huns,’” McCrory recounts. But once he got there, the letters changed, saying, “’I never want to smell death again.’”
McCrory says one particular story sticks in his memory – when someone called out the name “McCrory,” while Walter was on the battlefield.
“As he turned his head, a bullet whizzed by his ear,” he says. “He believed God called his name. … I wouldn’t be here tonight telling this story if someone hadn’t called his name, and maybe it was God.”
Before McCrory’s speech, McCrory took a few minutes to tell me why he picked this event as his first public appearance since the swearing in.
It’s simple, he said, because veterans are the reason he was elected. This is one way he can pay them back.