It is now time to speak to my children, my grandchildren and all other beautiful children who will succeed them.
I end the Charest family history with a few thoughts for its descendants. You must become more civilized than the previous generations, as all generations should do. That means working for peace, striving for understanding between nations, cultures and religions. You must abolish wars. If you intend to live Christian lives, then live them m practice, not only in beliefs. No one has the right to take another’s life, not even the state. The real evils are ignorance, the absence of civil rights, the lack of educational opportunities, the abuse of the working class by employers and governments alike, a corrosive weapons-building industry that keeps the world in turmoil, that makes it possible for ambitious politicians to acquire those weapons at bargain rates to subvert and overthrow governments, thus preventing those same governments from devoting resources to benefit all their people. It is a sad thing to say but our own government is the world’s biggest weapon supplier.
Future generations must reverse that situation if they want to feel civilized. The Constitution must be preserved and strengthened, especially the First and 14th amendments. To deny rights to someone because others do no agree with. that someone is to run the risk of denying those rights to everyone at some time or other. My descendants should heed the words of a Roman poet by the name of Virgil who wrote in the First Century BC: “The majestic roll of circling centuries begins anew; justice returns with a new breed on men from heaven and the iron age shall cease, the golden age arise and wars will be no more.”
I wish all my descendants good health, good fortune and good lives!
Editors Note: Armand was still active and healthy until late August 2002. Then one morning he fell in the lobby of the senior citizens home where he was living in Costa Mesa, California. There was a subsequent series of cascading events, and a week later he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his left side. He recovered somewhat, but was confined to a wheelchair and required constant medical care. His middle son Howard and Howard’s wife Pam, daughter Katie, took care of him in their home in Whittier, California for the next year.
Armand’s health continued to deteriorate during the year, and by September 2003 he needed to be in a nursing home with 24 hour care. During this year all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were able to come out for a visit. He lost his last battle and passed away the evening of February 14, 2004. He was buried as per his wishes in a Military Cemetery in Riverside, California with full military honors. I received his flag.
Armand, at the age of 79, was only the second of the nine children of Alphonse and Emilie Charest to pass on.