Cactus521

In 1984.....

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In 1984 I was flying to Europe for a month long tour, like the tour I had last year it covered much of the continent and London was my first destination.  I flew from SFO to JFK, we were two hours late taking off due to a traffic hold, I was worried I'd miss my flight but was assured I would not, as the outbound flight to London was also delayed for the same reason by two hours.  So I landed at JFK, transferred terminals (seeing the beautiful TWA terminal in the process), and awaited my flight to London.  It was the end of May, just before June 6th, the 40th anniversary of D-Day.  As I waited in the waiting area to board my flight, I realized I was surrounded by veterans, ground soldiers and airmen and pilots, all going to Normandy to commemorate D-Day.  I struck up conversations with a few of these men, most between 60-80, as they teary eyed remembered their friends, made me teary eyed too, and I felt their warmth, they were warm people, not killers, just soldiers trained to free Europe from a monstrosity, Nazism.  They commemorated their fallen German adversary as well, knowing that the line soldier was not there by choice, but by force.  My two hour delay flew by in a blur of remembrance of world history, I was born a scant 17 years after D Day from a parent who served in the occupation force in Japan, going thru basic training not long after D-Day.  I later visited Japan and Guam where my father served but have not made it to Korea yet, but I was wooed by some Korean girls on my 1984 visit to Europe, they asked if they could kiss me when I told them my father served, lol, I was on a train with them from Grindelwald to Luzern Switzerland, I will always remember how compassionate they were and the ambassadors for their country that they were.  They wanted me to go on with them to Zurich but I was on a tour stop in Luzern so I had to say farewell to them.

WWII brought many countries together, I pray there is no WWIII and that today's adversaries seek a permanent peace, remembering that 11/11 is to remember WWI, "The War to End All Wars".  Sadly our punishment of an old enemy from that war led to WWII and we learned from that after WWII, rebuilding Germany and Japan.  We need to stay protective of Europe and east Asia, including China, fostering trade.  My economics teacher taught us "Guns and Butter" during the economic crisis of the 70's, caused by Vietnam debt.  He urged us as young college students to make butter, not guns, for the sake of our economy and the world economy.  That is America's greatest strength and something to remember on this day, as we remember the brave and the fallen who fought for the weakest of us so we would not have to fight.

John

Edited by Cactus521
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I remember finding some interesting home made videos on youtube featuring interviews with 'Wild' Bill Guarnere who fought in WW2 and whose character featured in the TV series Band of Brothers. He sadly passed away in 2014. If you are interested in WW2 history and the stories of the soldiers, I recommend taking a look -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y68p63Fb1mk

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9 hours ago, steve310002 said:

I remember finding some interesting home made videos on youtube featuring interviews with 'Wild' Bill Guarnere who fought in WW2 and whose character featured in the TV series Band of Brothers. He sadly passed away in 2014. If you are interested in WW2 history and the stories of the soldiers, I recommend taking a look -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y68p63Fb1mk

Indeed an interesting video, he was very spry and articulate for his age, the way he talked reminded me of my maternal grandmother who was also spry until her passing at age 86.  This video reminds me of something a friend and I experienced while we were implementing a LAN in Dryden, Ontario.  Our client took us out one weekend to show us their town, what little of it there was, then took us to their home.  In his home he showed off his hunting rifles.  I am terrified around guns, never handled one other than bb guns when I was a boy.  Real guns with real bullets I stay away from, better used by someone who can see better than I can and knows what they are shooting at.  The man who was showing us his rifles pointed them right at us as he was rotating them around, my friend and I looked at each other and wanted to run out of there.  Later we said "So this is what people do in Dryden Ontario". 

On the way to Dryden from International Falls MN my client picked me up and to save time he drove over a frozen lake near Dryden, shaving nearly a half hour off the trip.  While entering the frozen lake he said "Roll your window down".  It was cold as Hades outside and I said "Why?".  He said in case the ice breaks and we started to sink, we'd stand a chance of swimming out of the truck.  He told me about the town getting a new snow sweeper which was driven across the lake, and sure enough, the ice cracked, and down it went, with the driver escaping thru the roof hatch.  I guess these things, guns and frozen lakes, must only happen in small frozen Canadian towns.  Up in the north there, Canada and the US, there was a lot of humor regarding the cold.  At the Airport in International Falls hung a sign "Welcome to International Falls, Icebox of America".

John

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I had a chance back in the 90's flying from London to Dulles to chat to a Liberator pilot. I didn't want to push too many questions unless he prompted first. 

Just yesterday. I heard of a friends uncle who fought in WWI and survived to live in Dublin. My friend said that a few moments after going to sleep, he would start shouting in his sleep about the advance of the enemy over the trenches.

Those that survived lived through hell of their own.  

Edited by Jude Bradley

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My uncle had a good gig in WWII, he was the driver for the actor Gene Autry.  My father served as a combat photographer in Korea, one picture I have that he snapped was of Eisenhower and some Korean generals, my ex wife keeps it for me in her home.

John

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