I wasn’t born yet… but, I had uncles, and friends of my uncles, who fought in WWII. None ever bragged about it. None even spoke that much about it. If they did it was in passing and never for very long. Much of what I knew about the war was what I was taught in school, read in books or saw in movies.
When, finally, an uncle spoke to me about his experiences of serving in WWII, it was not of braggadacio.. not of glory… it was, surprisingly, with regret.
I was maybe about 17 or 18… and… facing the draft…
He spoke in a low even tone and softly… as if it were a secret just between he and me… he told me how when the war was winding down… the Nazis had hardly any men left to place on the lines to fight the Allies… so… they placed weapons in the hand of young teenagers… maybe 14 or 15 year-of age… children… and sent them out to do battle. He told how they would charge his company… the men he served with… firing their weapons and how he had no choice but to kill a child or be killed.
The horrors of war and what men .. and women.. .must do during battle is just that… horrorific, terrible and insane. Sadly, sometimes we still must wage war. I hope… and, yes, I pray… for the day to come when people stop hating and being greedy and we all can live in peace.
War is not a game…war is serious and unpleasant stuff… unfortunately, war is still somehow necessary…
Sometimes we fight wars for the right reasons… sometimes I’m not so sure. But… I believe WWII was for the right reasons… to stop an evil entity from perpetrating evil upon people who deserved so much better.
Today… I remember all those who fought on June 6, 1944 and beyond… I remember those who have fallen while fighting for their country… I remember D-Day June 6, 1944… with respect.
Tiny URL for this post: