As I always do…..I watched this video before I wrote this post….and during the telecast, I found tears running down my face….as the images of the US soldiers going into battle on D-Day, June 6, 1944…..while thinking about Pops, my Dad….and I found myself having tears free falling down my face by the memories of him and The Greatest Generation that he was a part of…..and the price that this generation paid for the freedoms that we Americans possess today.
Pops joined the Navy in early 1941….as a young 17 year old, imposing as being 18, so that he could join the effort to build up the American forces during a time where war was propping up all over the world…. with the Germans already engaging the whole of Europe….and by the luck of the draw….his 1st duty was in beautiful Hawaii at Pearl Harbor….for he often commented that he had no idea that he would be in the 1st American battle of World War II….as on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan….while his barracks where he slept was the epicenter of the attack.
Pearl Harbor was basically decimated by Japan’s air force during the surprise attack….during which time Pops and his best buddy were manning a 50 caliber machine gun from the entrance to a hanger that housed multiple aircraft…..when an explosion concussed Pops….and when he regained his consciousness, he discovered his best friend draped over him, while having a hole the size of a grapefruit through him from a piece of shrapnel….and from that moment onward throughout Pops’ 85 years on this Earth….he never quite came to grips with why he came home and his buddy didn’t.
Like the men seen in this video herewith landing on the beaches of Normandy in 1941….many of them died that day….and those that didn’t were forever haunted by the same question…..why did I make it home?…..and for these reasons and more….this video moved my emotions and made me stop and thank God for my Dad.