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I visited my father's grave

My father lies in a country graveyard in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. Etched in his headstone are the dates of his military service and the rank he achieved upon separation. Tech 4. Next to the stone is a brass flag holder with a small American flag standing stiffly in the rain. On the back of the headstone is a brass plaque memorializing his service in the U.S. Army, Pacific Theater, WWII.

The other graves around my father's carried names from my childhood...Buyarski, Rotter, Gruber, LaPointe, Neilio...many with plaques and flags and etchings. The WWII generation.

Young men, marching off to fight monsters, coming home to start a better life, with the belief they had done a fine and moral thing. That was my father. Proud of his participation in the greatest crusade in history to vanquish the greatest threat to peace the world has ever known. He truly believed this, down deep in his heart.

As a teen and young adult in the years immediately after the fall of Saigon, I would argue with him, saying that the U.S. of the post-WWII era was not the country our founder's had imagined. I made the case that our military was no longer the vanquisher of dragons, but had become the dragon itself. Ultimately our empire would collapse. Never!, he would reply. The U.S. will always be the strongest country in the world! We had unkind words, then tacitly let the subject die. Our two world views, forged by two different wars, could not be reconciled.

My father died in 1999, one day before my 42nd birthday. In the years preceding his death, we had not talked about current events at all. I was gone for many of those years, and a creeping brain disease was stealing what was left of his ability to grasp what was going on around him. But even at a fairly late date, he could recount the islands he was stationed on and the dates...he just couldn't remember if he had had breakfast or not. He did not live long enough to see a country cowering in fear, continuous war, spying, money manipulations, UN resolutions, and blatant corruption. I cannot know for certain, but I believe he would have been distressed by what happened to the world his generation helped to create. This is not what they believed they went to war for.

I stood by his grave yesterday. A deep sadness came over me...my wife took my arm when she saw my distress...as I thought about him and his life. He was a good, honest man who tried to do the right things, but who had all the normal human faults and frailties that I,too, carry inside of me. I did not think of our arguments, or our disagreements, or the unkind things that we once said. I said out loud, while looking down at the headstone, 'I wonder what he would think of me...'

My wife, ever supportive, said 'he would be proud.'



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Smart for marrying your wife

God Bless you and thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.

I'm the same age as you and lost my Dad in February, a three war vet. My Dad asked me once if I wanted to shake his hand after he had shaken hands with Richard Nixon. My Dad told me, that it didn't matter who was president, he served them all no matter what party.

My Dad loved the military more than having a family. He's buried Rosecranz National Cemetary overlooking the section of the base where he pushed boots and earned the name, "Nails". He refered to himself as, "A mean Son of a bitch".

He was.

A small connection

Your father is buried in a cemetery named after Civil War General William Rosecrans.

The backstory to Rosecrans is that his roommate and best friend at West Point was Julius Garesche, a deeply religious man who convinced Rosecrans to convert to Catholicism. When the war broke out, Garesche was a desk jockey colonel, but he decided he needed to be part of the the active war effort and he volunteered to join his old roommate's command.

Julius Garesche had a premonition that he would not survive his first battle, and in December of 1861, he participated in the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN. Riding up and down the line alongside Rosecans at the end of the first day of fighting, trying to stop the Union soldiers from retreating willy-nilly after being pushed back most of a mile by the Confederates, he lost his head to a Confederate cannonball.

When the other officers later saw General Rosecrans, they were horrified, thinking he had been badly wounded. No, said Rosecrans, "it is the blood of poor Garesche."

The Union held the battlefield, and after three days, the Confederates slipped away. The Union called it a victory, but the truth was thousands of soldiers on both sides died during an inconclusive fight for a piece of land no one really cared about.

Garesche's body was exhumed and sent by rail back to Washington DC. Crowds lined the tracks to witness the passing of a man loved by his troops and regarded as nearly saintly. (Indeed, today there is an active effort to have him beatified.) The post-Civil War generation had a number of children of veterans with the middle name "Garesche."

Julius Garesche is buried in Mount Olivette Cemetery in Washington DC, on a family plot that includes the graves of a number of his relatives...and General Rosecrans' wife.

Julius was my wife's great great uncle.

And that's the rest of the story.

Thank you--

I can relate to this, though I am a bit older than you. My father was also a WWII vet, and--died a few years ago . . .

we didn't agree about wars or legalizing of drugs--

but I really miss him. I would give a lot to be able to talk to him today; he was a brilliant man, a wise man; WWII took a lot of people 'in'--

:(

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

And a good Memorial Day to you,

Ron Johnson.

I am fortunate to still have my WWII vet father, who is at my house today. He was Navy, USS John Cabot, and survived kamikaze attacks and Halsey's Typhoon.

Very beautifully written and moving. Thank you.

A gift for your father - a loving testimony. I'm sure he would be touched - and very proud.

Bump

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"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)

In Revelations

13:11 it speaks of a beast with two horns like a lamb that would speak as a dragon. A beast in the Bible refers to a nation, the two horns like a lamb would mean that nation would reflect a Christian nation that would speak like a dragon, dragon meaning doing the work for the Devil. Basically the United States posing that it is doing good around the world as the Christian nation we are with much sarcasm intended, paving the way for the Devil to take this whole world over. My faith in God is sometimes the only thing I have, and we can all find peace in knowing there is a plan. Jeremiah 6:19 says in the end times we will either have God in the end times as individuals or evil will take us over, and I believe it. Look around, it is happening more and more everyday. Your father was a great man I am sure, he did what he thought was right, but deception is the Devil's greatest asset, and we have all been decieved by him. When you are feeling down, be sure to look up!!!!!

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

Bump

Bump

Thank you

Saluting you and all patriots from the past and the present day.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Fellow Patriot...

I am certain that your Father would be proud of your principles, and the certainty of your convictions.

I say with sadness in my heart, that NOW is OUR time to shine.
Much like our forefathers, we are called into action.
Let us be united under the banner of LIBERTY.
Never let their sacrifices be in vain...