Thank you is such a small thing to say for all the blessings I received during the course of the WWII Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The applause, the expressions of gratitude and recognition of our service was such that it was hard to keep a straight face and at times, couldn’t hold back a few tears. To be in the company of the men and one woman who made up the veterans kept me in awe, as I heard their stories. The young Medal of Honor recipient, SSGT Sal Giunta, said it best when he said in effect, “We were trained and sent to do missions and we did our best to complete the missions and bring everyone home safe. There were times when unusual circumstances presented themselves and we did things considered above and beyond the call of duty, that may be so but, I would give up the Medal, all the accolades and privileges if my two buddies lives could be restored. There were thousands upon thousands whose story died with them, who would have met the criteria, almost half a million in WWII who are buried here and in cemeteries all over the world. These, who gave the full measure to our nation, are the true heroes.” I concur with his thoughts.
Dan B., 24 May 2011
Yes, you all have donated your precious day for me and my fellow veterans!! I am thankfully humble and proud to have been chosen to participate in this great adventure. There were so many of you wonderful generous people, that I don’t remember all your names and some names I’ll never know, to thank you personally. I had tears rolling down my cheeks when I read those warm and heart giving letters of thanks from the children and students of the Colleyville and Grapevine schools. How does this old veteran thank each and every one and shake their hands? There is a will, and I’m sure I will find a way.
It doesn’t happen but once in a lifetime that a person has his or her “15 minutes”. You all gave me mine on May 24th 2011. With your pressing questions, you gave me the opportunity to share my experiences of “How it was during WWII”. Many memories linger within me and this is and was the time to share. I hope the children, especially, have learned that “Freedom does not come free” and too many young men died too soon. A young Marine said it best after the battle of Iwo Jima, “They gave their today for our tomorrow”.
My trip to DC was a great day for this old, but not forgotten veteran. Thank you again for your warm and appreciative attendance; you made me feel like a dear friend! Hopefully, I’ll see you again soon and we shall break bread together.
Achi K., 24 May 2011