I’ve been sitting here thinking about this day, how we see it, and what we do. Some of us hang flags, and then go fishing, others attended parades yesterday, or consider the results of the Indianapolis 500.
But I sit here thinking about my one basement wall. The first thing you see is the 48 star flag, War Ration Booklets, pictures, pamphlets, and other items. The wall to the right is mixture of Discharge Papers, shadow boxes of medals earned, and military rankings. My father, a corporal in the Army Air Corps, my step grandfather a private in the Texas 36th, 143rd Infantry, my father-in-law, a Navy CPO3, Radar Operator on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, my wife’s uncle a corporal in the Marines, a Radio Operator in the Pacific.
Each of these people stepped forward in a time of great upheaval in this world. The draw to danger must have been strong to overcome the fear of what could lay ahead. Training camps, new people, unquestioned orders, different parts of the country and world locations that would otherwise be exotic was to be their future. Bullets, bombs, mortars, Kamikaze, heat, cold, starvation and friends killed or missing became daily occurrences.
Happily for our families, each of the people came home. Home to carve new beginnings in the life of this country. I heard the other day that out last living World War I Veteran had passed away. Of my wall, only my father-in-law is still with us. The stories of this war are fading away and most of the stories have gone untold and these hero’s third generation will be clueless of this part of our history. It is the determination of these hero’s and others of today that have given us the opportunity to freely do whatever we want on this day of memory.