Honoring our veterans and military honorably
On Oct. 9, Blair County author and educator Jared Frederick gave a review of his book, “Dispatches of D-Day — A People’s History of the Normandy Invasion.”
During the presentation, I experienced a flashback of my own reaction to visiting the site of the invasion with remnants of barbed wire, bunkers and — most powerful — the cemetery where sons, husbands and fathers unknown by their children are laid to rest.
While sadness for any and all wars accompanied me during Frederick’s presentation, it was his reference to former president and general Dwight Eisenhower’s revisiting Normandy 20 years after the fact for an interview with newsman Walter Cronkite that helped.
That interview is described on page 256 … “gazing out upon the 9,388 tombstones, (Eisenhower) confessed, ‘I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope and pray that humanity will learn more than we had learned up to that time. But these people gave us a chance, and they bought time for us, so that we can do better than we have before.'”
In Eisenhower’s view, the strategy of peace should not be a dream but a promise.
Even though the dark side of humanity has led us to subsequent violence and wars, the “chance to do better” calls out through character and power of lasting good to govern thoughts and deeds over religion, race, political party, gender, etc.
May unity in “chance for better” become the reference for honoring our military and veterans honorably.