Thursday, November 10, 2011
Remembering to Stand
We have a strong connection to the military in our family. Mr. Awesome's dad and both grandfathers have served and my grandfather and uncle have also served and I have a cousin who is currently serving. I know the heartache and pride military families experience ... willingly. That's what gets to me. All the sacrifice, danger, injury and death is made willingly. They choose to put the greater good ahead of their own wants and needs. They choose to risk everything in hopes of bringing security and freedom to others. They choose to stand when running would be so much easier.
His regiment was in France for less than 8 hours on August 19, 1942 but the losses they suffered were astronomical. They retreated in a chaos of bullets, explosions and cries of pain. Many of the wounded never made it off the beach despite the best efforts of the few in tact soldiers who made repeated trips between the beach and the boats, hauling as many wounded men as they could.
I asked my grandfather once how he did it, how he could keep moving, keep soldiering with bullets flying and death everywhere he looked. He didn't say anything for a long while and then he spoke.
Tomorrow, as our family gathers to remember all those who risked every thing, every time for freedom, justice and hope, I will think of my grandfather, standing on the beach of Dieppe. I will think of the raining artilery, the smell of death in the air and the sounds of war and fear filling his ears, I will think of him standing and moving forward. In the moment of silence tomorrow, I will think of how he made his choice to stand when there was anything but silence surrounding him ... and I will follow his lead. I will choose to stand and keep moving forward.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon
For a full account of what the men of SSR faced that fateful day see An Exercise in Sacrifice