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Brock: Memorial Day is a time to remember all veterans

Harvey Brock

I didn't serve in our military, though my father spent 24 years in the Army and Air Force.

Like most people I have known who served in combat, my father seldom talked about it and I rarely asked. Once, when we were studying about World War II and the Normandy Invasion in school, I asked if he been there.

He told me that the only reason I existed, was because he was in the second invasion of Normandy. Almost everyone in the first invasion was killed, and the fact that I was alive depended on his luck of being chosen for the second day. He told me after the first invasion that one of the returning boat operators told him and other waiting soldiers to take a good look at the sun, because it was probably the last day they would see it.

I asked him if he was afraid. He told me of course, but after a week of bouncing around the English Channel, he was so seasick he would have done anything to get on land.

I can't begin to understand what it was like to be in combat, and can't help imagine what went through his 20-year-old mind as he bounced around on the ship, waiting. Dad joined the second invasion soon after and, by the grace of God, survived World War II plus many subsequent combat missions during his military career.

Today's world is as dangerous as ever for our military personnel and we shouldn't forget there is a war going on in Afghanistan and to keep those serving in our prayers.

The men and women of our armed forces, past and present, all share a common pledge to defend our country and constitution and are prepared to give their life if needed. While many have seen combat, others served in times of peace or were in support roles.

But every one of them -- like those on the second invasion of Normandy --if their name had been called, they would have been in the first boat on the first day and they deserve all the respect and privilege a nation can offer.

Memorial Day, the final Monday of May, is the day when our country remembers the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

Dickinson's Memorial Day Service is at 10 a.m. Monday at May Hall of the campus of Dickinson State University.

If you can't attend, please take a moment to pause and remember those currently serving and those who gave their lives to defend our country.

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press.

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