Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why I Am Proud to be an American

I'm going to take a little break from my usual writing posts and tell you about my Grandpa Clark.

My grandfather never talked about the war. All I knew growing up was he was off to war for much of my mom's childhood. Then just a few weeks before he died back in 1994 he began to talk. We sat at his feet in his home, his family that had grown to four kids, dozens of grand kids and even a great grandchild or two, surrounded him as he told us about something that he had a very hard time putting to words. He still didn't talk a lot about the details. Even then it was still too much I think, but my impression of him and the war were forever changed.

Turns out he was on a ship just off the coast of France during D-Day. He wasn't the first wave to land, but he went in pretty close after that. Then he spent the rest of the war riding across Europe, freeing villages. I remember an old picture of him sitting in a jeep in front of a windmill in the Netherlands. Another of him and his buddies in front of a bombed out cathedral. Anyone who doesn't think we we should have been in the war, just go ask those people in that village in Holland, and all across Europe who could very well be living a very different life now if it weren't for people like William Fredrick James Clark, my grandpa.

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