This last summer I witnessed something that reaffirmed my belief in the greatness of the United States of America. While standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., two tour buses pulled into the parking lot and out came several old men, some in wheelchairs, some with walkers and others walking on their own. They all wore red vests and ball caps. They were accompanied by active duty service men and women of the United States Armed Services. Each of these stately gentlemen had written on their vest the branch of service that they served in and the fact that they were all veterans of World War II. Our young service men and women were treating the old warriors with kindness, respect and appreciation. I found myself thanking both the old and the young soldiers for their willingness to serve and protect me and my family.
My dad fought in World War II serving on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater. He died over 20 years ago. He was good dad who raised five kids with just an eighth-grade education.
I would give anything to have one more day with him just to hear his story, maybe just to ask a few questions and let him talk.
It occurs to me that we are losing a generation of brave men who saved the world. If your dad or grandpa is still alive, you might see if you can get them talking and maybe even record them telling their story. Your recording will become a family treasure.
Gordon H. Gartner