Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember

Anyone in my generation (the so-called Silent Generation) will never forget the sacrifices of our service men and women. We grew up during WWII, remembering the wild ranting speeches of Herr Hitler and the food rationing that affected our daily lives. I actually was going to school in Northern Ireland at the time and had to carry a gas mask. Thankfully, I never had to use it. We sometimes played in the bomb craters where the German planes had dropped stray bombs on their way home. Belfast was full of American soldiers who were stationed there or passing through. My aunt took me to a hospital to visit the troops, where I saw a wounded soldier - I'll never forget how ill he looked. I sometimes wonder if he survived. I was a child under ten  years at the time. Of course, we had blackouts at night and strict food rationing. But all that was nothing to the fact that our soldiers were over in Europe being killed every day and in London, ordinary people were killed by bombing raids. My mother's cousin Sgt. James Quinn, was one of the pilots who participated in the Battle of Britain and his name is on a plaque in Westminster Cathedral. Fortunately, he survived. I never met him, partly because we left for America after the war. It was a wonderful feeling when the war ended - euphoria! But sadly, the wars did not end and there were many more to come. Each time, our armed forces step up and go where they are called to. Thank you to all those who served. I think I might not be here on this Earth if you had not.

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