This post, wriiten by my sister in law, Beth Fields, brought tears to my eyes and I wanted to share it with you.
I have always been very patriotic. I honor and respect all of our nation’s veterans beyond compare.
But when I stood on the cliff above Omaha Beach in Normandy, France last March, that respect magnified and exploded inside of me. Tears streamed down my face when I thought of all of those brave young men storming those beaches, not knowing what their fate might be. Sons, grandsons, brothers, husbands, uncles, fathers.
I can not imagine the fear they had to have felt, and I could not contain my emotions. My heart went out to those young men and to their loved ones at home.
My husband’s grandfather, Paul Edward Fields was one of those young men. His wife was at home in Oklahoma with their 3 small children and was pregnant with my husband’s father, Edward. Paul survived D-Day only to be killed in action at The Battle of the Bulge soon after.
Can you imagine being a young mother of 3, expecting your fourth child, and getting the news that your husband was killed in action? Can you imagine what Paul must have felt while he was fighting for freedom, all the while knowing he may not make it home to his wife and children?
Recently, my youngest daughter and I have had the pleasure of visiting with (and learning from) a WW2 veteran who attends the same church we do.
He was in the First Cavalry Division in the Pacific. As he showed us the actual spurs he wore during the war, I gazed upon the now brittle leather and tried to imagine what it would have been like to fight the enemy on horseback in hand-to-hand combat.
As he told us only a few his many war stories, I noticed the tears in his eyes, and I heard his voice crack as he recounted his experiences. When I looked into his eyes, I could see the memories flooding back to him, some good and some horrendous. He showed us his plethora of medals, and I felt like my “Thank you” was simply not enough to express my gratitude.
Brooklin and I both were literally in awe of this 93 year old hero sitting before us.
I pray that we as a nation never forget. I pray that we never forget the countless sacrifices made by ALL of our veterans (and their families) of every branch of the military, of every war. Finally, our nation should do more, much more, in providing services to our veterans.