I come from a long line of Veterans,who have fought all over the world.I am so proud.My Dad fought in Korea. Both my Grandfather's fought in WW1 & WW2 along side their sons.How awful that must of been for the mothers,both Husband & Son's gone off to war.They were made of strong stock,not only handling all the farm work at home & raising the children still at home,but the fear of getting that letter in the mail telling you, your husband or son is missing in action. My Grandmother got such a letter,In heavy black type on an air mail letter,her son had given his life in Italy in 1943.He was her second born and the only one of 5 children that looked like her.He was 18 and very handsome,had a wonderful sense of humor, Loved his Mamma more than anything.He was popular with everyone and always went out of way to help someone else.In fact the day he was killed he was filling in for his brother, As a driver,for 4 Star General , when a Bomb struck their car.He & his best friend who was also in the car were instantly killed.The General and his staff survived.He wrote my Grandmother a very touching letter.It included the conversation he had with him about his much loved Island & his Mamma.
It had been just a few short months before she had received a letter from him telling her the news.These letters were always upbeat & funny..But always ended with asking for money & Cigs..This last letter contained the news that he won a Medal, It was the Golden Gloves Medal for Boxing ! He hadn't told her he was on the team, for fear she would worry about him getting hurt.He told her he lost weight with none of her homecooked meals and thus qualified for the 135lb weight division on the Canadian Team.The Championships were held in London,which as he explained he joined the boxing club to spend some time in London with a gal he met there, when he first arrived in Europe.
The Day of the Final match he was up Against an American.He wrote he was one of the nicest boys he had ever met and really did not have the heart to fight him.So he danced around him, Avoiding his punches but not attempting to fight back.It was the last round and it was tied,he decided he better make his team Proud and landed a few knock - out punches..But his opponent kept getting back up.Finally after the last Punch and he hit the floor,My Uncle told him " For god's sake stay down, I don't want to hurt your pretty face anymore,Your Mamma will kill me!!".He Did..This young man wrote my grandmother for years after the war,he was from the "Boston States" and an Irishman like my grandmother.
Just last year I inherited the medal & his letters all wrapped in bow and kept in a Morris Chocolates Box for safe keeping.I in turn donated his medal to the local Military Museum.It now proudly hangs in it's walls underneath his picture for all to see and enjoy,He will not be forgotten.
While reading these letters and getting to know him through his words, it struck me I know this Boy...Not only is my Youngest son the spit of him,But carry's his personality traits.
On this day of Remembrance I not only remember the sacrifice's our Men & Boys made for their counties,But also for the boy I used to know.
Peace & Freedom