Here are a few words and pictures about Memorial Day on the Mall.
While the National World War II Memorial is a monument for the ages, we are lucky that some of the people it honors are still around to talk about that time. Herman said he was a sergeant in the US Army during World War II and had landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He also fought in the Hurtgen Forrest, which became infamous because the nearly impenetrable and fiercely defended terrain had essentially no strategic value. History of Hurtgen Forest
Herman told me he could still vividly remember details like the intense smell of pine the and closed-in feeling of the place. He believes leaders should never lose touch with the direct consequences that their decisions have on the people under their command .
John is a WWII vet whom I met last year on Memorial Day. He was a sailor who served on the USS BALLOU AP-157. He recalled getting a terrible case of seasickness as he was first sailing out from the CA Coast, but after that, he never had another problem with it – unlike many of his shipmates.
As I was heading back from a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial , I saw two men selling some books. It was Vietnam vet, Major George Durgin and his son (also George). It turns out they are from SoCal. George Sr. proudly showed me his wristwatch which had a bold “SC” in red and gold on its face.
I picked up a copy of his book, The Delta Dogs about his experiences as a commander of a US Army infantry company during the 1969 Tet offensive. I look forward to reading the book and doing a post on it.
With gratitude to all who protect and defend us.