Still Proud to be an American

In honor of all the men and women who have served in the Armed  Services of the United States, I would like to remember Memorial Day. As a young child, I watched family, neighbors and friends in uniforms going off to fight in WWII. My parents told me these men were going to fight in the war, but I had no concept of what that actually meant.

One such relative was my second cousin, Bobby Double. We all lived in Pittsburgh at the time, and my mother had lived with Bobby and his parents for several years before she married my father. Mother and Bobby had developed a close relationship. Bobby seemed to love my sister and me, and he was always friendly, visited often and always played games with us.

During the war, my parents were probably quite ill-at-ease, because my father was German and my mother was of German descent, not exactly an honorable heritage at the time. One day mother told us that Bobby had been drafted. When we realized he would be going oversees, we cried, but our lives went on. Mother told us how brave the men were to go and fight for their country. I felt respect for the people who were fighting the war, especially Bobby.

Sometimes I would ask for more sugar on my cereal and Mommy would tell me that we had very little, because sugar was being rationed. I remember listening to her long explanation of rationing, imagining mean men on ships stopping the sugar from coming into the United States. Mostly I wished for more sugar.

One day my mother and father seemed to be particularly happy. Bobby came over in his army uniform, smiling from ear to ear. My parents were hugging him and everyone was laughing and hugging each other and picking me up and twirling me. I was happy too, but I had no idea why.

Only many years later, when I was in my twenties studying history, did I realize that was the day WWII was over. Even though I was only three at the time, I remember V-E Day, the celebration that occurred at the end of WWII, in May of 1945. The United States had helped win the war against Hitler. Bobby no longer had to be deployed, and we would soon be able to buy as much sugar as we wanted. Praise the Lord, our side won!



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