Sunday, May 27, 2012


Eugene Gaines
Venner Thompson
John Gaines

William "Bub" Gaines
It's not hard to remember these four men.  Their pictures hung on the walls of my childhood home and they were discussed often.  The three Gaines brothers were my uncles, the handsome Thompson man, my Dad.  Three sons and one son-in-law, all served in the Army, in the European theatre of WWII. Several years of their young lives were spent in uniform.  My grandparents often spoke of the worry, fear and critical radio reports that updated those back home of the Allies advances against the Nazis. It was a frightening period of history. Everyone at that time knew the horror of war was critical to defeat the epitome of evil.
The little town of Concord, Illinois witnessed the return of these four, and mourned her young men that gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Uncle Gene was an ambulance driver, Dad saw the horror of D-Day on Omaha Beach and the concentration camps in Germany, Uncle Johnny's stories went with him to his grave a few years ago, and Uncle Bub drove a tank in the Battle of the Bulge and got frostbite on his toes.

Only Bub survives now and he's thriving at the Veterans Home at Quincy, Illinois, age 86. Last Friday they held a Memorial Day Service there and he "waved" as they played the Army's song, no longer able to stand for applause and appreciation.

Today we remember and honor millions of men and women, just like these.  All had family and friends that loved, worried, prayed and mourned.  All saw things that innocent fresh faces ought not to see. That is the nature of war, and that is the nature of those that volunteer to keep the rest of us safe and free.

 Most of the time we take them for granted shamelessly. But this weekend flags are flying everywhere, taps are playing and flowers adorn white markers at cemeteries across the country.

The price of freedom is very high!  That's a good thing to REMEMBER!

1 comment:

  1. Very nicely written Sharon, and very nice pictures I don't think I had ever seen. Thank you once again. Pattie Gaines Dobrovolny