|Johnie F. Stapp|
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.