As most of you know I am a HUGE history buff. Mostly Roman history, but I have always been fascinated by World War II as well. I was watching Band of Brothers today, and while I have thought of it before, it got me thinking.
It was a VERY different time back then. Both of my Grandfathers (and all of their brothers) fought in that war. Both were very young. You had eighteen year old kids (I use the word extremely loosely) going to war and proud to do so.
I work around (not with) a bunch of kids that really have no clue as to what it means to be a man. They have had everything given to them their entire lives. They now feel that it should continue to have it handed to them.
The men back then were proud to go off to war.
They were kids
they left their girlfriends and families
They didn’t do it because they were told to. They didn’t do it for the money. (the average soldier made 50-70 dollars a month) They did it because it simply had to be done. Kids left their homes and were made into men in the blink of an eye. They witnessed things that most could not dream of.
They stormed the beaches of Normandy
They landed at Iwo Jima
they shut down the horror that was Auschwitz
They were afraid, but they were certainly not cowards. They charged into these situations with courage that no one can deny. They were a different breed of men.
Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.
George S. Patton
I am proud of both of my Grandfathers. Their deeds will not be forgotten.