Thursday, June 19, 2014

Worthy of Our Heritage

While reading Dr. Kaye’s book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, my mind kept going back to conversations I had with my father. Enlisting after Pearl Harbor, he served in Patton’s Third Army, 80th Infantry Div. Somehow he survived continuous battle from the post D-Day landing at Omaha Beach through the relief of 101st at Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge, and then on into Germany. With frostbitten feet, severe loss of hearing and finally wounded by enemy mortar fire, he came home in 1945 to recuperate at a Colorado VA hospital. Along with millions of other GIs he was happy to be alive and to begin living his life. And, like countless other GIs, a tiny bit of recognition for his selfless acts of combat bravery came in the 1990s when his decorations finally arrived at his home in Akron, OH.

In every page of Dr. Kaye’s book I saw the faces of my father and my mother, a hero, too, who contracted TB while in nurses’ training during the war. As young people and later in life, they actually believe in and lived the Four Freedoms each day. They put their faith in President Roosevelt and trusted him because of what he did. He got it done and never gave up. Just like them.

Dr. Kaye has done much more than masterfully paint the FDR and Four Freedoms stories. He has given us a gift: to see the faces of our parents one more time and revisit what made them the great, matchless people they were. Further, he has challenged us all to live up to, and become worthy of, our heritage - hopefully, some day soon.

No comments: