Saturday, August 10, 2019

World War II and its Sacrifices Echo Through History


I have been warching Ken Burns' World War II documentary.

   It reminds me of dynamics in my parent's home during my upbringing. My Dad, James Sr., was born in 1919. My Dad's brother, David, was born in 1921. When World War II happened, my Dad was already in the NJ Army National Guard, so he was federalized in 1939. Meanwhile, my uncle waited until 1942 to jon the United States Navy.

   Along the way, relatives my Dad's age joined other branches of the service: my Uncle Johnny joined the 8th Air Force as a ball turrett gunner; my Uncle Bill joined the Marines and was destined to become a mud marine in the Pacific and my Uncle Harry joined the Tank Killers in North Africa.

   God was good to my family, largely. Everyone came home, with the exception of my Uncle David, who perished in the waters off Anzio, ferrying soldiers back and forth from Navy warships off the coast.

   Meanwhile, my Dad experienced D-Day, June 6, 1944 and the war to take Berlin. Uncle Johnny survived 19 missions to become a decorated veteran of the air campaign in Western Europe. Wounded, Unle Harry came home after being wounded in North Africa. And, Uncle Bill left a big chunck of hmself at Iwo Jima, where he received the iron plate in his head. But...David never came home.

   Though my family was close when I was young, I do not think anyone ever got over the fact that my Uncle David, youngest of the bunch who went to war, did not come back. As such, the 35 years after were more like a wake than a meeting of family on holidays. And, I understood it and still do.

   But, all families gave some...some gave all. And, Americans dealt with it because we would either win that war or lose our country.

   In the years after, the country remains entangled in wars around the globe. Yet, America does not seemed interested in winning these wars. In fact, most Americans seem to want them perpetuated with no end in sight.

   As for me, I find this unjust to all those who have fallen in the Amerian wars after 2001. And, I find myself more and more wishing that the late President Franklin Roosevelt as the commander-in-chief, as opposed to the office holders e have today.

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