As a baby boomer, I grew up surrounded by World War II veterans. My dad and most of my uncles on both sides of the family enlisted and served, many of them in combat. One uncle was with Patton and helped liberate the concentration camp at Buchenwald. One of my dad’s brothers was a navigator on a B-17, the famous Flying Fortress, bombing Germany, and another was a Navy pilot flying in the South Pacific. My mom’s brother Chuck was an infantryman who was killed in North Africa, and my dad and other uncles were in island hopping campaigns in the South Pacific. None of them talked much about it, at least to us kids when we were growing up, but I heard enough to know they were all everyday men who stepped up to the plate and did their duty.
For the last couple of days, Terry and I have been watching documentaries on 9/11 and the sacrifices so many first responders and civilians alike made as they came together to help others survive. Then I started thinking about all of the division and hatred in the country today, and I have to ask myself which day is worse? What happened to us?
1941 – My country needs me. I will enlist and sacrifice my life for her if it comes to that.
2001 – My fellow Americans are in danger. I will run into those burning buildings to save them, even if it costs me my life.
2021 – I WILL NOT get a vaccination that can end a pandemic that has taken more than twice as many American lives as World War II and 9/11 combined.
These last few days, my heart has been heavy with the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that we suffered, and even more heavy that while we all came together in the aftermath to act as one, as Americans have done throughout our history, now we have people storming the Capitol because they didn’t like the results of a free and fair election, and trying to overturn the legal process of certifying the election. People making the simple act of getting a vaccine into a nonsense debate about their rights. What happened to us?
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. Knowing what I do about my imaginary friends, they might regret this.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an autographed copy of my book Overlooked Florida, featuring more than 30 interesting places in the Sunshine State that most tourists miss. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – People want to take your spot until they realize what it takes to play your position.