words are all i have

Say “thank you” to our WW2 veterans while there’s still time

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patti dawn swansson

patti dawn swansson

What do you say to someone who bravely rushed on to the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, knowing the thunder clap of German machine-gun bullets, mortar shelling and exploding land mines awaited?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who parachuted into France during the deepest dark of night, knowing he was now rat-trapped behind enemy lines?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who held a fallen comrade in his arms as life slowly seeped from his buddy’s war-torn body?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who spent Christmas in a prisoner-of-war camp, wondering what, if anything, was under the tree back home?

You say thank you.

dday3

Canadian troops land at Juno Beach, part of the D Day invasion at Normandy, France.

What do you say to someone who spent a rainy night in a sloppy, soggy foxhole, hoping that the morrow would bring less enemy fire and more hope for the end of war?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who watched her father, husband, brother or son march off to war, wondering if she’ll ever see them again? And, if she does, will he be in one piece?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who eagerly anticipated mail call, only to receive a Dear John letter from a wife or girlfriend who had abandoned him, yet he summoned up the inner strength to soldier on because there was a mad man named Adolph Hitler who had to be stopped?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who is left behind to raise the kids, work the farm and volunteer in the war effort because Johnny has gone off to war, then is told that her husband will be coming home in a box or has been buried in a foreign land thousands of miles away?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who spent 30 days in the isolation of a POW camp cooler because he tried to escape a Nazi stalag?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone from the French Resistance who risked torture and life by aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines?

You say thank you.

ww2-2What do you say to someone who wasn’t allowed to fight the good fight on the front lines because of gender, but she joined the Allied effort by taking on factory jobs, clerical jobs, agricultural jobs and technical jobs when so many men marched off to war?

You say thank you.

What do you say to someone who was an angel of mercy for so many wounded and dying men who, more than anything, needed a soft smile, a kind word and a nurse’s tender touch to get them through another day, another night or to get them home?

You say thank you.

According to Veterans Affairs, of the more than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served in World War 2, the number of living survivors is estimated at 75,900. Their average age is 91. There are another 9,100 from the Korean War, average age 83.

The sands of time have almost expired on these brave men and women, but it isn’t too late to do the right thing when you see one of them in uniform on Remembrance Day—you say thank you.

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