Friday, September 22, 2006

World War I

Most young people today have a very poor knowledge of World War II and even less of World War I. Both my Uncle Herman and my step Grandfather Louis fought in France during WWI. They were both in the American Army having traveled from South Dakota. They had probably never been more than 100 miles from home before. As a child growing up my uncle Herman would talk about his time in France. He in his later years gave me an American Heritage Book on WW I. In looking through it he had penciled in the place he had been. I still have that book. He would even sing French songs he had learned. My step grandfather talked less of the war. He was wounded in the war and had a metal plate in his head. He was a very smart man who spent the rest of his working years driving a bus. One thing he was very proud of was one of his officers in France was a guy by the name of Harry Truman. Their all gone now the WWI veterans or at least most of them. I can remember when the WW I veterans were the grandfathers and the dad's were the WW II Vets. Years after he had returned home uncle Herm would still talk of that French wine.In many ways It was the high point of his life, serving in France. After the war he came home to South Dakota and endured the depression "dirt poor". During WWII he followed my parents to Utah to work at a navy depo. He remained there after the war and retired there before moving to Coos Bay to be near my parents. I still have the giant American Flag that was given to the family by the Veterans Administration when he died. Freedom isn't Free.