Sunday, May 25, 2008

in memory


He was 16.  It was June 6, 1944.  The day American troops landed in Normandy.  He was 16.  Parachuting behind the lines.  A medic.  Unarmed.  He was 16.  He was the first medic into Buchenwald Prison Camp.  He stayed with his unit through fire fights.  He bandaged the wounded.  He was brave.  He served.  He was 16.


My husband's father died five and a half years ago.  He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War.  Today we went to the national cemetery in Kansas City to lay flowers on his grave.  What a humbling experience that really is.


I read newspapers.  I read a lot of blogs.  I know that American sentiment isn't high these days.  Some of that sentiment is well deserved.  Some is downright embarrassing.  But spending a day at a cemetery like this reminds me of an awful lot.  Reminds me of why a waving flag will make my heart jump.  Reminds me of what these brave men and women have given.  Without these soldiers we would never have been a free nation.  We saw markers from the Civil War.  We saw paper markers from 2008.  All the same.  Not one soldier greater or bigger than another.  Some dying in he line of duty.  Some dying as old men.  Some having served at 16.


16 comments:

Heather said...

How touching and so heartbreaking. Just babies, those 16 year olds, and yet, the courage of men. My heart aches for those in harms way, but I am also so grateful for them.
Lucky that you and your husband both come from military families, you speak the same language. Beautiful photography, as always!!!

Sarah and Jack said...

It just kills me to think of 16 year old boys in war.

The national cemetary here always really moves me also.

Kat - Taylor Made designs said...

lovely post.
I hope so many people read it and are reminded of all those brave men + boys who gave up so much.

Monkey Giggles said...

wonderful post about your father-in-law and tribute to all who are and have served. I hang my flag with pride and honor.

AM~Erica said...

Wow. Humbling. Beautiful.

Thanks.

Lara said...

Great post. Agree, very humbling! Great photos-you really capture a feeling.

Kerry and Rachel said...

Lovely post, touching photos.

Kerry and Rachel said...

TAG! You're it! We love your blog so we've tagged you. Pop over to our blog to find out how to play the game!
Have a great day!

nikko said...

It sounds like your Father in law was an amazing man. What a beautiful tribute.

lera said...

Lovely post, Heidi.

mushroommeadows said...

This post really gave me the chills...It's amazing what freedom costs.

It's also really important for us to remember and to be grateful.

Thanks for posting this!

miss chris said...

So well said. I can't write this stuff without getting all choked up, but I'm so glad you did. And your Father in law! What an amazing person... you are so lucky to call him yours.

Sandra Evertson said...

Just lovely...
Sandra Evertson

Erin said...

Well said Heidi. Pretty incredible to think he was 16. I couldn't imagine my kids fighting in a war at that age!

Alice said...

Only 16, isn't that amazing. I hope that he came home to a peaceful, happy life after the war. That was a lovely tribute to him.

Mrs.Kwitty said...

What a beautiful post Heidi. Brave men and women of all ages. patriots. heroes.

My husband's brother Joe (our son is named after him) was killed in the Tet offensive in Viet Nam at the age of 18--he was trying to get a wounded comrade back to safety.

My Father-in-law's ship was blown up during the Korean war, he was in the water for a day and then captured and brought to a POW camp where he was imprisoned for 3 years. If you've ever seen footage of the men forced to work on the bridge over the river Kwai and all the roads over there, well, he was one of them. It's amazing that he lived through it.

In December of 2006 I lost my 18 year old cousin in this most current war. My Uncle John, his Dad, is inconsolable.

Makes you feel humble and grateful.

God Bless them all.