With Veterans Day just past and the ceremonies and speakers, the American Legion and Elks Club, thank them for the fine food they served us.
I believe the war raging in Iraq and the daily report of casualties has created a renewed interest in the veterans of wars past, especially World War II with its rapidly shrinking numbers.
World War II veterans are an aging group. Of the 16 million who served, only five million are still alive and they are dying at the rate of about 1,500 each day. On their gravestones will be their names, but their stories will be lost forever.
They didn't want to, nor did they have the time to tell it. There was much more work to be done over there and here at home to help rebuild our war-depleted nation.
They laid down the weapons of war and grabbed the torch of peace and gripped it tight and steady. They held it high for all to see, a shining symbol of peace. They carried it around the world that they had conquered, and through the blood that they had spilled on the field of battle, the fingerprints of 16 million men and women are on the handle of that torch of peace and will be forever imprinted there.
The enemy was now a recipient of their goodwill and the compassion that poured from their hearts and from the very depths of their soul. They picked up the fallen enemy and gave him bread, and they gave him blankets, and they gave him clothes, and they gave him medicine and put a roof over his head. What greater love can man display than this?
Tom Brokaw wrote a book calling this the "greatest generation." I have read it and I am proud to be a World War II veteran. My full honor and respect goes to all veterans of all the wars.