Thursday, October 13, 2011

Honoring WWII Vets

More than 1,000 American World War II veterans die each day. One group committed to thanking those still living is Honor Flights, which brings them free of charge to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial built in their honor. Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole greeted my dad, brother, and me, along with hundreds of other vets and family from Kansas and Kentucky, on a recent fall day. (Click for details and a message from Senator Dole.)
What struck me about these veterans, all in their 80s and 90s now, is how ordinary they are; ordinary men called upon to do extraordinary things to protect our country and way of life in the 40s. They were young farmers, factory workers, and fresh-out-of-high-school mechanics like Dick Lamb. Six decades of movies have defined for most of us what that war was like, but I suspect the day-to-day reality was a bit different. Homesickness, boredom, fatigue, uncertainty, discomfort, fear, horror … it’s a wonder those who came home found their way back to any kind of normalcy. But like Dick Lamb, most did. They had jobs to do at home, too. Calling theirs “the greatest generation” is fitting tribute, but I think of them as the model for every generation.

To learn more about the Honor Flights program, visit


Barbara said...

My dad did not live to see "his" memorial but I visited and had the opportunity to thank vets there and at Arlington cemetery when I was visiting the Capitol.

Sally said...

I will have to visit this memorial. My dad died last year just after his 90th birthday. I know that he too would have been very honored to see this tribute too. They are our American Heros. Thank them, and love them all!

Sally said...

I will have to visit this memorial someday. I lost my dad just after his 90th birthday last year. He would have been very honored to accept this tribute. He was a true blue American! Love them all, as they are why we are free today!