For a different take on todays events, so long ago:
Reddit user /u/Food4Thawt wrote:
3 Doors down from me was a guy who was at The Battle of the Bulge. He’s 90+, has a sailboat that sits because he’s too old to take it out, has a yard he cant mow cuz it’s too weak to push the mower and too poor to hire someone out. He’s got 4 grandchildren that use him for his pension and smoke cigarettes in his garage, a daughter that asks for money from 3 states away, and a M1 Garand mounted above his fireplace with his ribbons beside them in the glass case.
Every 2 weeks I mow his lawn, bring him a root beer and we talk. He cant help telling me the same stories over and over again, but man…I’ve never done anything 1/10th of as crazy as it was to actually fire your weapon in combat at 18 and 5 months.
He still remembers how to say, “We are American, Do You Want Some Bread?”… in Dutch and French.
Way to Live Cilas, Way to Live.
Mandatory Gold Edit: Thanks kind stranger. I’ll try to get a picture of him drinking that root beer, I’ll walk over with my mower in a couple days after I do my own yard. And I’ve tried to get some more stories, but I mention the bread comment because he’s super proud of it. He gave all his K ration ‘bread’ away to the hungry folks that couldnt get any.
My favorite story of his goes like this.
He was sitting after a long firefight of taking an old Belgian city and they detonated a bridge so the german tanks couldnt retreat. After blowing the bridge he noticed a little girl under the rumble trembling. He gives her some bread with his memorized line and they proceed to let her ride on top of a tank to the next town and find someone to take her in. Eventually they found a family that knew her last name and were going to find her family for her. He was proud to wear the uniform and only got out because he hated standing in lines for EVERYTHING. But he was most proud of helping out a little girl who had lost her family and was hiding under a blown up bridge.
What He has taught me this in our talks:
Wars are not fought on distant battlefields by robots are they are today. They’re fought by real people with dire consequences and leave us with giant holes in our humanity. All we can do is hopefully mend those holes with good deeds that require us to took at our fellow man as human. With the dignity of their humanity as the sole basis of our good will towards them, not our common beliefs or our common language. Simply Affirming their humanity and accepting that and only that; as the requirement; Is the the best way to fill the void that haunts us all.