I must admit my ignorance again, as I will continue to do throughout my life. I grew up learning the Pledge of Allegiance, “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
As I headed towards high school I was required to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, dates regarding WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. But…I never got it. I never understood the horror, fear and destruction of war. As a kid and throughout most of my adult life I have only focused on the pride of victory and patriotism.
Perhaps I’m being a bit hard on myself, as I recall quizzing my father about his experiences in WWII. (He and most of my uncles served in WWII.) Dad mentioned driving a truck through territories in which dead bodies were stacked monstrously high. I remember my mother had an issue of both “Look” and “Life” magazines with candid photos which depicted the horrors of concentration camps, mutilated bodies and mass graves. Mom had told me about her working in a parachute factory during wartime and that a woman was arrested for cutting the cords of the chutes she packed. Mom would nearly cry when she contemplated the US men that fell to their deaths as a result of that woman’s actions.
Perhaps I just couldn’t fully wrap my head around war, since Hogan’s Heroes was one of my favorite shows and it spoofed WWII POW camps or perhaps because my life was “so easy.” As a child I enjoyed everything that I still enjoy today. I had plenty to eat, indoor plumbing, (in fact the house was built the year I was born), clothes, jewelry, my own bedroom (by the time I was 12). Without a doubt I had no idea what life was like only 20 years earlier. And it’s likely my parents were content to keep it that way. But as I look back I have been ignorantly ungrateful for the devastating nightmare my parents and their generation endured. Sometimes knowledge grows with maturity but not always understanding.
Six million Jews were killed during the holocaust and yet the US was unaware of these atrocities and hoped to remain neutral. If not for the fortuitous attack on Pearl Harbor we might never have come to the aid of the Jewish population. Thankfully the evil of the Nazi regime was defeated.
Recently I read the book “Divine Mercy-In the Second Greatest Story Ever Told,” by Fr. Michael Gaitley. Fr. Gaitley claims the millions of Jews exterminated during the holocaust were martyrs. I concur. But the glory of the story is in the knowledge that “All things work together for good for those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). Obviously this is a religious book which I hope you consider reading. I believe this book is capable of increasing your trust in God, making you aware that He is with us, and causing you to feel optimistic despite today’s troubling times.
This Memorial Day we should respectfully remember those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. May God Bless the USA and all the people of the world.
Monday, the annual Memorial Day parade will take place at 10:30 a.m. beginning at the Vets Club with a short ceremony at the North West Street bridge then continuing on to Greenlawn Cemetery.
June 4, the Lady Tigers basketball team will be conducting a car wash and bake sale from 8 a.m. – noon in the St. Denis Church parking lot.
Happy birthday to Taylor Hayes, Sue (Rhoades) Christian, Cordelia Behlke, Cassie Ingle, Logan Schultz, Jessica Lyme, Jacob Shafer, Todd Prenger, Emma and Josie Marlow, Megan Aultman, Eileen Barga, Mary Jo Voisard, Adele Hoke, Mark Good, Alisha Thobe, Kris Tumbush, Jim Raterman, Marcy Bensman, Karen Batty, Jodie Bohman, Betty Davis, Sharron Sally, Vicki Ruhe, Susie Barga, Erica Bruns, Bernie Knapke, Betty McKenna and George Williams as their birthdays approach. Anniversary wishes to Gina and Mark Hoying (24), Karen and Larry Langston (28), Jenni and Bob Paulus (31), Kelly and Doug McEldowney (33), Rhonda and Bob Stammen, Shirley and John Huddle and Rochelle and Norman Schlecty (53).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Payton Platfoot, Lois Youngker, Linda Wilson, Adam Schwieterman, Kevin McCoy, Judy York, Jim Youngker, Delores Williams, Sam Yagle, Lexi Fliehman, Jan Turner, David Zumberger, Brian Voisard, Cyril Frantz, Dave Francis, Ann Paulus Pedersen, Dan Monnin, John Davis, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard, Wayne Pittsenbarger, Barb and Jon Agne, Samantha Smith, Michelle Ullom, Bob Homan and all those who are sick, suffering, hospitalized, and/or home-bound. I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Carolyn and Richard Mescher, and many others for their kind and supportive words.
Sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Jim Crotcher (68), Kenneth Draving (68), Gary Cook (75), Bernard Drees (78), also remembering the lives of Joann Deal, Fred Condon, Clete Poeppelman, Hilda Benanzer, Mary Ellen Simon, Charles Hubbard, Alice Allison, Karen Gehret, Diane Voisard, Charlie Paulus, Eileen Morgan, Aunt Emma Barhorst, Irene Grisez and all those not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their recently passing.
“Who does not know the evils of war cannot appreciate its benefits.” ~Sun Tzo
“God gives his hardest battles to his faithful soldiers.” ~C. Edwards
“Greater love has no one than this that one lay down his life for his friends.” ~John 15:13