Recently I had the pleasure to take part in a very special ceremony honoring and remembering The Greatest Generation.
A ceremony honoring those that fought and gave so bravely for their country.
Their belief in freedom during World War II.
It is hard to put into words exactly how amazed I felt about taking part in this ceremony. For me to hear these people, the last of their generation speak of the horrors that they experienced, the life long friendships they forged and the strength and fortitude that was theirs for the rest of their lives.
They all spoke of a believe that it was their God that got them through events that they should not have lived through.
Invocation given by my dad, Mr. Harold Olinger
Joan Cabell shared stories of what it was like to be a child growing up in England during the war.
And when she was older, she performed for the solders.
That is Joan bottom, right.
Kitty Mann, brought me to tears.
Her father, LeRoy Collins, like so many lied about his age so that he could join the Navy.
He was 15 years young.
Her father died this past March, and her sense of loss is still very new and raw for her.
She told how her father, like so many never spoke of his time in the war.
After his passing, the family found a letter he had written about his experiences. Kitty read that letter to us. His thoughts were powerful and moving, I shall not forget.
Art Ordel, Jr. Army Air Corp. he was a bombardier. He flew many successful missions.
I understand a book is being written about his experiences and that the French Government is about to award him one of the highest of honors.
His old leather jacket was amazing, and yet it made me sad for all the human loss.
Bill Sheads, so kind and gentle was this man. His memories strong and sure.
These men shared experiences, I will never fully understand. You could see it in their eyes and know that as they listened to their generation speak of their experiences, that it is something only they understand.
Thank you to all of these men that served during the World War II, and my state of Virginia and the Virginia Department of Forestry.
I have the honor of being part of a present day military family.
I too know secrets of horror, and honor and have gratitude to all past and present.
Please join me in remembering and honoring.
See you later, Bye!