Posted by: Jim E | June 6, 2011

D-Day…67 Years Ago…My Dad…My Mom…And Me…

Although technically impossible…I think in my mind, I can remember D-Day, June 6, 1944…I was only a little over two at the time…so probably not possible…but I do have our flag out today…well, it’s flying everyday…I love this country…proud of it…the best country in the world…we are free…we hold the flame of liberty…and though there are those in this country who would doubt it…it doesn’t matter to me…I know the difference…during every time of this country’s history there have been dissenters…it happened during the War for Independence…they were there during the Civil War…down-right traitors to the Union (and I’m not talking about those in the Confederacy, I’m talking about those in northern states)…they even ran for office during that war…and in every time since, there have been “dissenters”…but I will fly the flag everyday, because I believe in this experiment of Liberty…and whether people can rule themselves or not…we certainly don’t do it perfectly…but the options are not good…I’ll stack our history against any other nation…we come out on top…

But this is about D-Day…June 6, 1944…I was two years…four months old…my Dad has been in the U.S. Navy since October 28, 1943…and we lived in a little, I mean little, house in Golden Valley, MN…I really don’t know the square footage of the house, as people would look for today, but it was very small…maybe two rooms…but it had exterior walls, a roof, no indoor plumbing (but that was normal at the time)…I think it had electricity…but no refrigerator…the refrigerator was an “icebox”…(no, no, I do mean an icebox, similar to what is pictured here …a wooden piece of furniture, I guess you would call it…with small doors on the front…insulated, I suppose…the doors were rather thick…inside was metal…on the top shelf was a place to put a block of ice, and because cold sinks, it would keep the lower shelves cold or somewhat cold…the iceman would come and deliver ice…and into the icebox it would go)…we always looked forward to the iceman, he would chip off ice pieces for us…what a time…Oh, by the way…no ice-maker…bummer…

It was Mom, Jack, my older brother, by three years…and me…Dad was in the “service” at the time this picture was taken and Jerry my younger brother wouldn’t come along until after the war…the “little house” was on an “alley”, built on the highest part of the “swamp” to the front and the right of the front (and back) door…(only one door, you see)…and when the swamp filled up with rainwater or snow melt, the water was knocking at the door…you may ask, “How do you remember when you were only 2 or so?”…well, we moved after the war, about a block over to 515 Meadow Lane (still on the swamp but a little higher)…and we lived in the neighborhood all my growing up years…so we passed by the “little house on Archibald Ave.”…(as my Mom wrote on the back of this picture)…many times…this is a picture of the “three of us”…notice my Mom being under some stress and very thin (click on the picture, it may enlarge for you to see what I mean)…what with no money, and two kids…and a husband at war in the Pacific…it was a hard time…more than we can imagine today…I, of course, was the one on the ground crying…poor Mom…

So while my Mom was at home, my Dad was overseas…on the Pacific somewhere between Hawaii and the Philippines…but on the other side of the world America was readying itself to invade across the English channel to France…and were going to go ashore on the Normandy coast…this was not going to be easy…it was going to cost thousands of lives…it would be another year after this picture of our family was taken ( it was taken in the fall of 1943) before the allies were ready for the invasion…it would take place June 6, 1944…and it would be another year of fighting before the war in Europe would be over…the costs of that battle cannot be understood by us today…we can read and see pictures, but nothing can do it justice to what those men went through for us…to protect our freedom and liberty…I stand in awe today as I have all of my life…when I think of all those who fought there and how many of them I knew growing up…and I failed to ask questions and say my thanks to all those men…most who have already left us…

So today I honor them with what I can do…be as faithful to America as they were…love this country…and to show my respect and admiration for what they have done…God Bless America…

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