I always miss my father a little bit more on Memorial Day. He was a WWII
vet and fought in every major European battle from Normandy to The
Battle of The Bulge. Dad carried a little Brownie camera with him
throughout his entire tour of duty and pretty much documented his Army
career. One of my favorite snaps is of a Belgium family taken shortly
after the Allies liberated Belgium. This family was so thrilled to see
the Americans march through their town that the wife hurried into her
home and retrieved an American Flag she had secretly sewn during the
Nazi occupation. She rushed out of the house waving the flag and
shouting her hoorahs as the allies marched past. My father stopped and
gathered her family proudly displaying this small American flag.
Unfortunately and rather sweetly the woman had sewn the flag backwards!
But that was okay, she waved it proudly, my father kissed her cheek,
snapped the photo and marched on. Years and years later I did an editing
job for a woman near my home. She was a poet and had written some poems
about her experiences as a little girl in Belgium during WWII and the
Nazi occupation. She told me how the Nazis would come into her home and
take their blankets and food. She also told me how her family hid people
from the Germans until the Allies came and set them free. When I told
her my father was in that battle she looked at me with tears in her eyes
and said, "he was my liberator." He probably was.
Thank a soldier today!