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D-Day – 70th Anniversary June 6th!

 Dear Editor:

It’s a “beaches” kinda Friday…they saved America!…they saved the world!!…imagine if they had failed in their effort to put down Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese Emperor…imagine what kind of world we would be living in today…they are almost all gone and in another generation they will be all but forgotten…of course I am talking about the Veterans of World War II…

I am referring to those 156,000 troops that stormed the beaches in the most massive war effort in history to bring that global conflict to a close…June 6 will be the 70th Anniversary of D-Day — and many that I mention this to are completely unaware of what the day was all  about…we are the last generation that will pause to honor these veterans in any meaningful way…

How often do you hear of the veterans of World War I being hailed?…life is generational…if you are lucky you may be remembered for two generations — but after your grand-kids are gone so is your memory…you may be a footnote in someone›s genealogy search but as to who you really were — forget it!…the same thing is already happening to those who left America, went overseas in both directions and laid it all on the line…

The last few days I have been trying to imagine what it would have been like in the hours before the greatest invasion of all time…how do you prepare yourself to run headlong through the water into direct enemy fire?…how do you steel yourself with the courage knowing that all you love and care about is on the other side of world and you will most likely never see home again?…for over 10,000 that became reality on June 6, 1944…

Last week the 911 Museum opened; that gave us a sense of what it takes to create these memories for posterity…but soon that will fade as the generations most affected pass away…the trauma of 911 will be lost when we die off and our grand-kids are in charge…

The Jewish Holocaust Museum has little impact on those who didn›t live through it…the memory of WWII is still alive because these were our parents…we heard the stories firsthand from those who were there…there are groups such as Honor Flight that still pay homage to the WWII vets…they fly any WWII vet that wants to go to Washington DC to see the WWII memorial free of charge…this is out of respect for the sacrifice they made…

I applaud what they do — at least I applaud the heart with which they do it…but soon there will be no one left to make the trip…what then?…Honor Flight already has plans to move on to the Vietnam Vets…that›s fair; they deserve it!!…but when that happens one more memory of WWII, D-Day and those who died on foreign soil will be lost…let›s do what we can while we can to instill a sense of gratitude in our grandchildren so the memory lives as long as possible…

I believe that is an important part of «truth, freedom and the American way”…we have an obligation to REMEMBER, HONOR AND TEACH!!…in a small way we at American Legion Post 558 will try to preserve the memory of those who saved America…we will honor those who saved the world!!…

I didn’t start out to write a commercial but what the heck?…you can be a part of it…we are having a golf outing in honor of D-Day (it will be the best golf outing bargain of 2014)…we are having an afternoon D-Day Outing at the post including music, food and — best of all — actual veterans of WWII (including at least one veteran of Normandy)…we are not going to bore you to death with speeches from politicians….you will hear from the veterans themselves…you are welcome to be there!! (be at Post 558 by 4pm)…whether it is with Post 558 or somewhere else, do something that day to say “Thank you for saving America!  Thank you for saving the world”…the ducks on the pond fly in free formation because of these heroes…and Mother Parker knows that GI Joe loves her brew good & strong — just like the country they saved!!

PS – American Legion Post 558, 400 E. Ludington, Farwell, MI 48622  or call 517-896-0037!!

The Kelster

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