Friday, June 6, 2014

Miami Memories: Heroes

Johnie F. Stapp
The news of the world
celebrates the Invasion of Normandy
and the strength and determination of
our troops on this day 70 years ago.

I awaken to crackling lightning
rolling thunder and gushing rains.
I'm thankful for this blessing from nature
and for those men and boys who
walked this earth 70 years ago.

This life I've lived, this life I know
dramatically paved by the efforts and
bloodshed of the Armed Forces throughout
 a second war
to end all wars.  I'll never forget you.

My father, Johnie Stapp joined the Army
December 23, 1940.  He went to war a Sargent,  came home a Lieutenant.  He toured the Pacific from the Aleutians to the Philippines.
He came home.

My father-in-law, Albert Watt, joined the Marines, a rifleman.  He saw the bloodshed and fought for the beaches at Iwo Jima.
He came home.

I heard stories of those Japs the good and the bad from my dad.
On a tour in 1995 of Japan I met a man, older
and more crippled.  He asked to touch
our hair.  I knew from his eyes he'd seen the death on the beaches.

Forever and a day my father kept his secrets.
The young men whose lives we'll never know
are buried deep within each of us whose father's
were the Greatest Generation.

Now in silent reflection we must carry on the values of
dedication, resolve, and patriotism
handed to us through the lives of our youngest
and bravest men and women.


  1. Dad was an “advance Marine” in the islands. Very tough going for him, too. Malaria and so skinny when he came home. nv

  2. Isn't it a wonder that we are healthy and lucky to be alive.....

    It is, and I am sad because I don’t think people appreciate what all those men did, those who were lucky enough to come home, and the ones who died.

  3. Blessings to you on this rainy D-Day remembrance morning. Thank you for the lovely reflection—prayers of thanksgiving for the lives of those brave men. mb

  4. Thank you friend. It truly came to me that we are now the next generation and must continue to honor all who have given their youth and their lives so I can sit on my patio and chat freely to friends across the continent.

  5. Very moving. My husband who will be 88 on the 30th served in the Marines on Guadal Canal and won a purple heart. I served in the USAFNC and very proud I could serve my country. I appreciate all of our veterans for what they did to keep our freedoms. jr

    1. Thank you friend for your supportive words. I truly do believe it has now fallen to us to remind the world of the sacrifices those men and women made. Hopefully, there will be opportunities to voice these remembrances.

  6. Mom,
    This was a such beautiful story – I miss my Grampa and Grandma Moo !

    Love Katy