Growing up in a brand-new subdivision of modest but extremely well-built homes in Los Angeles during the ‘50s and ‘60s, I don’t think one of us kids in my neighborhood realized we were surrounded by men and women who bought these homes with the GI Bill, after serving in WWII.
They were simply, our moms and dads.
The two on either side had fought in Iwo Jima as Marines. The guy across the street had fought in the Philippines. His wife had been a nurse at Pearl Harbor. Next door to him was a fighter pilot who had flown escort for countless B-17 bombing runs in Europe. And his next-door neighbor had stormed Normandy. My dad had been in Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands.
It was only after we kids grew up that we realized the firefighter, pharmacist, contractor, electrician, and cop we called “Dad” or “Mr. So and So” down the street, were bona fide, in the flesh, heroes.
As I watched the ceremonies at Normandy, it hit me that there were MANY Normandys all over the world, and all with Americans showing up to save us.
I wonder sometimes if that war, no longer fresh in our minds with living memorials to it raising us or mowing their lawn across the street, is in part the reason so many growing up with spoiled assumption of plenty, within our our schools teaching our children and even in our Congress, doing their best to destroy our nation, hate the United States so fervently.
Until my last breath on Earth I will honor those who ever fought for it, with a mission to remind all of what we have and how easily it could all be lost.
Jim Geeting is a retired Wyoming state trooper and author. He lives in Rock Springs. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.