I would like to take this opportunity to thank this newspaper for their series on the veterans of WWII. They were indeed the “greatest generation” as they were dubbed by Tom Brokaw. But those of us who are the children of this generation should be called the “lucky generation” for we have benefited from their knowledge, experience, wisdom and sacrifice.
Growing up, my two brothers and I heard over and over our father’s stories. As we aged more details were added to those stories… sad stories, terrifying stories and humorous ones told by a man who spent two years of his life in a foreign land living in indescribable conditions including sixty days in a foxhole. People have gravitated to my father for he is a natural storyteller but he is more than that, he is one of the few left with a clear enough mind to remind us of what they fought for.
Shortly after the article about my father was printed we went to the movie Monuments Men. With his stories fresh in my mind, I was stunned when the movie’s opening scene was the bombing of the monastery at Monte Cassino, the very battle my father had shared in the article. It was very emotional to sit next to my father and relive the reality of this event with him, knowing he had witnessed it all.
As I was reading some of his article to my ten-year old granddaughter, with a very serious look she said… oh grama, I have to enter an essay contest about our flag. Now I know what to write. I’ll write about great-grandpa and how brave he was. It brought back memories of her father, my son, who entered the Voice of Democracy contest many years ago and won when he wrote about his brave grandfather.
Thank you Warren Times Observer for honoring these men and women who know freedom’s cost and for providing the opportunity for the present generations to hear those stories while they still can be told.
Proudly submitted by the daughter of Staff Sergeant John Henry Stanton.
Trudy Haight, Russell