Monday, August 31, 2009
70 Years Ago Today, WWII and my family
Above are pictures of my grandfathers Doyle and Wright from the 1940s. They served the United States valiantly, as did all the brave men and women of "America's Greatest Generation." Today, on the 70th anniversary of World War II, I honor their memory and that of every soldier who served to secure liberty and promote the ideals of democratic society.
In addition to my grandfathers, several great uncles also served the U.S. Military in both theatres of the war. Fortunately, they all made it home to Indiana and rejoined their families. One of them, my Uncle Les Dunning, is a decorated veteran and still lives today in Dayton, Ohio.
Thousands of families were not so lucky. None were as unfortunate as our Jewish brothers and sisters across the globe, especially in Europe. Think for a moment of the many generations of families that were cut off due to the fanatical, genocidal policies of Hitler, Himmler and the Third Reich. I was watching a documentary recently in which the son of a Holocaust survivor was mourning the loss of his grandparents. He wasn't fortunate enough to ever know them.
And while my father's father (pictured above left) died before my ninth birthday, I at least got the chance to spend time with him and love him in the flesh. He and his brother returned to father children. My mother's uncles all returned to start or rejoin families. I still see some of those first cousins, once and twice removed, at family reunions. This year, as I reflect on what happened two generations ago, I will cherish those members of my family even more, knowing now just how fortunate I really am.
See WWII anniversary news articles here.