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Lest we forget: June 6th


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Can't even imagine what was going through the heads of our soldiers who realized they walked into an ambush.  May God bless them and the ultimate sacrifice they made to defend France and defeat Hitler. 

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I have been to American cemetary in Normandy three times.

The first time my dad was a commander in the US Navy.

The last time was in 2004.  Off the coast was the USS George Washington and along with her was a French aircraft carrier.   I am guessing it was the Charles de Gauelle.

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My grandfather I never met was fighting in Africa for the British, he was an engineer. I have his knife and my brother has his shovel. 

My step-grandfather was skippering an LCT in the Pacific. My cousin got the flag with the bullet holes in it, my brother has another flag that is mint condition, 48 stars, both flown from the LCT.

I could tell stories that I either heard or were told me, but I I'll just leave it as I admire both of them, the effort they put into winning, the ideals they held, and the examples they both were of a life lived to the fullest.

We are so soft compared to that generation, we have it so comfortable and easy.

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My wife's grandfather, who I sadly never met, wanted to fly a fighter in the pacific. He was denied because he was a test pilot and they needed him stateside. He got as close to the action as he could by signing up to fly transports across the pacific whenever he had a chance. That is the story from her family.

A few years ago I saw an ad for a rototiller and I needed one for my garden. I went to look at it, man selling it was in his nineties. We got to talking and I learned he was an airplane mechanic in WWII. He remembered my wife's grandfather by name and talked about repairing his airplanes on islands all over the Pacific. He told me "test pilot" was a cover for secret squirrel stuff going on. He said he was told to just fix the plane and never mind how the damage happened. He said her grandfather really knew airplanes and would crawl all over them helping him with the repairs. He said they all looked forward to him showing up because he brought cigarettes, candy and girly posters. 

Some of his friends are still alive and my wife has been working on compiling a better account of his war years and life as a pilot after the war.

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