AIRIAL VIEW OF OHMAHA BEACH AND THE AMRICAN CEMETRY WAR DEAD IN NORMANDY,FRANCE
My father served in the Navy in the Pacific theater. But I have, with my wife, (Deb) walked the grounds of this cemetery. Omaha beach, where many gave the full measure, is pictured to the left of the cemetery. My father came home from the Pacific. He did not say much about his war as it was the custom of men of his generation to remain silent about such matters. And to be honest, as I was growing up, I was not concerned about his war experiences. I was a self centered child.
Now that I am 62 I have a different perspective on matters. I do not presume to have the words to speak for him. My father was just a young man from a tiny town in northwestern Oklahoma. He was not a professional warfighter. He was a citizen soldier.
But it was a war won by such men.
This video was left on my Facebook….I had the privilege of standing on Omaha beach a couple of years ago. I have one little container of sand and pebbles from the beach. I am as proud of that little bottle as I am all that I have achieved in my life. As I sit here, secure and safe as a bug in a rug, I am reminded that all I have and all I will have in this life is a gift from the first man off the Higgins boat that fell as the gangway dropped. Whether he fell from a shot from a MG42 or drowned by the weight of his gear, he is a greater man than I. He heard the clarion call of a world in peril, he heard the call of his country, and he put himself in harms way for me, you, all who have come after him and all those who will come after us. He is a hero and I thank him and all those who have been lost answering the call to duty.
On Omaha Beach, (Normandy), Deb and John
We were here too: The cemetery above Omaha Beach. Men of all ages. But mostly many, many, young boys who will never grow old.
Thank you for saving the world. Thank you for answering the call to duty. And thank you for putting yourself in harms way. Not for treasure. Not for glory. And the only territory gained is the graveyard and beach. That, (thanks to France) is American soil. We paid for it in American blood.
We have men young and old that have been fighting the war on terror for a decade now. Some come home maimed ; some have given all of their tomorrows. I am old and cannot hope to repay them. So all I can do is say,