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Remembering the American G.I.


It is a good thing for us to stop and remember those who have given their lives to preserve the freedoms that we Americans hold so dear. Our history as a nation is replete with tales of heroism and valor performed by those who wear the uniforms of our military. Whether in the trenches of the First World War, the beaches of France or on Pacific islands during the second, these men did what they had to do. Acts of selflessness and bravery in every conflict are evidence that courage runs deep in the heart of this nation.


The generation that simultaneously defeated the Nazi threat in Europe and the threat of imperial Japan will soon be gone. Sometimes it is difficult to see these elderly, frail gentlemen and imagine what they must have been like it their day. It is difficult to imagine the scale of the wars they fought.


Their wars were fought without the benefit of satellite imagery (or even reliable radar for that matter.)  In the era of their war, the internal combustion engine was still relatively new technology. Wagon wheels were not an uncommon site on the battlefield. Casualties regularly numbered in the thousands.


Two elderly gentlemen that I know well are in my thoughts as I write this. One served in the Pacific and came under fire twice. The other served in Europe and was one of the first men to arrive in and liberate a German concentration camp. Both are still alive. Both are succumbing to the ravages of time.


I know Memorial Day has evolved into a long weekend holiday.  Many people will be going to a barbeque or to the lake or, yes, looking for a furniture sale. I get that, but in the middle of all of the activity let’s not forget to pause for a moment and give thanks for those who gave so much to preserve our freedoms.


Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


                                                                        Tony Thomas



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