Too often the deaths of our greatest heroes are over shadowed by the latest talk of Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, or some silliness a celebrity has recently done. Today we lost retired Navy Lt. John Finn, the oldest Medal of Honor recipient from World War II. He was 100. If anyone would care to read his story it's here.
Also coming up June 6th, will be the 66th anniversary of D-Day.
Wow.. that's something. Unfortunately the youth of America (and sadly at 45 that includes me I guess) can never truly appreciate what these heroes did for this country. Not to belittle the sacrifices that the Vietnam vets made or the IRAQ/Afghanistan soldiers are making now, but WW2 was war on a whole different level. Of course those at home were also involved since the war demanded production without a labor force.
I read the wikipedia entry for John Finn. It tells how he was at his home on the base, which I assume means he was married, when his neighbor came over and said they wanted him down at the hangar. The mental image I got was here he was, probably sitting at a kitchen table with his family and having breakfast. The radio is playing music. And then in the span of a maybe 5 or 10 minutes he went from that peaceful scene to a blazing flight line, planes strafing him as he struggled to pull a machine gun out into the open and started firing back at them.
But then that scene was true for everyone at Pearl Harbor that morning. A quiet morning in paradise to a terrible attack in mere moments.
We have a couple Pearl Harbor survivors in this area. I met a former POW of Germany several years ago. He died last year.
There were many underage veterans of WWII but even the youngest of them have to be 80 now.
The thing about all the WWII veterans I've known is how quiet they are about the war.
I have known a few WWII vets who have sadly passed on, but they were just wonderful, down to earth men. I also knew quite a few Vietnam vets, unfortunately, some of them committed suicide. Of all the vets I've known, most don't want to talk about their experiences. I totally understand, too.
I hope everyone has a safe Memorial day weekend. I want to thank all of those that have given me the opportunity to grow up in America, and protecting my freedom and well-being. I know words can never repay all the brave men and women that have served in our armed forces. We all owe a debt of gratitude.
my dad was a marine during WW2. He was stationed on Guadalcanal. He went thur some very heavy heavy fighting.
he was just a kid. But he never talked to us about his war memories. but let his brothers who were in WW2 and the memories flowed.
I remember the teachers I had in high school who were WWII vets. Mr. Smith, who was a Marine at Iwo Jima. Mr. Robertson, who was also a Marine and had permanent leg injuries from wounds and limped. Mr. Johnston - the head janitor - who was a B-17 pilot in Europe.
A friend of mine (Cruise Fanatic knows him) here in Athens, Alabama, his father was a Marine Raider (I forget if it was Carlson's or Edson's Raiders he was with). These were the first "special forces" troops.
It was Carlson's. Being a WWII buff any little thing about WWII catches my eye. On my recent cruise that stopped in Key West I found a side street with a sign in front of a "Kapok Tree". The Kapok tree comes from Indonesia and has many uses. During WWII, fiber from the tree was used as stuffing in the life jackets the soldiers wore that were called "Mae West" vests. The fiber is lightweight and waterproof. (I'll email you pictures Dave and see if you can post them.) Also, I discovered in Aruba there's a resort with a bar that sits on top of a WWII bunker. U-boats used that area during the war.