Growing up in the 60s and 70s I was a typical farm kid. I fed cows, carried firewood, hauled hay, picked blackberries, weeded the huge vegetable garden, fished and swam when I could sneak away. I never remember being particularly in awe of my father back then, he just seemed like "Dad" He was one of those dads right out of the 40s and 50s tv shows--because he believed in those values and still does.
Dad and I frequently fought about everything back then, he just seemed like a dinosaur from the "dark ages" and I was an up and coming women's libber of the first degree! He just didn't get things like equality for women and freedom. He couldn't possibly understand the concept of freedom. What would an old "dino" like him know about the struggle of women in the 1970's to be free from the male dominated society...
I am ashamed to admit it now, but back then it never occurred to me that I was living with a man who had the courage to drive an LST onto the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion. He never mentioned it to me in all my eighteen years of living at home. I think I was in my late 20's before I ever found out and it wasn't until just a few years ago I actually got him to sit down and talk to me about those years of WWII. I suppose, for a man like my father, there are just some things a father doesn't tell his daughter and I respect that about him.
I have some of his stories from those years on video and I will share them with my sons and their sons. They must know of the bravery and courage of these men! I shudder to imagine what our world would look like if not for their courage and determination to stand brave and true against the Nazi machine.
Today, I am proud to admit that my father was among those who took that stand. By the time 1944 rolled around, my father was already a combat hardened veteran of 21. He was in it for the "duration". My father is one of those men for whom the words duty, honor, and country are not a curse, but a privilege.
So, even though this is a day late, I honor and salute those veterans who did the unimaginable that day...and created for us a world of freedom from tyranny. It is up to us now to hold on to that freedom or lose it. But, the heroes of my father's age have done more than their fair share.
THANK YOU DAD!