In the years before summer jobs, I spent the days at my grandparents. In the afternoons, my grandfather and I would sit on the porch and he’d tell me stories. We’d fill glasses of iced tea and look out into the street. Gradually, like the condensation that crept down the outside of our glasses, he’d open up and the conversation would move to WW2.
He’d been drafted and went to the Italian front, leaving behind a wife and two young girls. He told me about crossing the ocean, about front line battles and hiking through the snow. He told me about spending Christmas sleeping in a bombed out church on a live grenade belt. He told me about hiding behind a wall as it was pocked with machine gun fire and waiting for a chance to go forward, keep moving, and never ever retreat.
When he passed away a few years ago, there was a flag ceremony at his funeral. The flag and three spent shell casings now sits in the bedroom at my father’s house.
Thank you to all the men and women who serve so that we can publish our thoughts in books, eBooks, and blogs like this. We may debate war and international policy behind the guise of politics. We may argue over right and wrong.
At the bottom, after all the noise is over, we will never forget. Thank you for your sacrifice and your service.
You are heroes.
Happy Memorial Day.