I just again watched the movie "Gettysburg." As I watch it amazes me each time the courage and honor that the armies had in this war. Don't get me wrong, war is not a glorious undertaking, I know. One of the main characters in the movie, Joshua Chamberlain was wounded six times, received the Congressional Medal of Honor and was elected four times as the governor of Maine. Simply an amazing story.
But in this instance and in others it is hard to believe the courage of the soldiers. My grandfather was in the First World War. Most of the Americans involved were drafted. My grandfather was 27 years old when he was drafted in June 1918. He went and trained at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio. He arrived in France September 2 and was in the line by the middle of September 1918. He fought until the armistice November 11, 1918. Most of the soldiers fought right up to the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. Even though the arimistice was signed at 5 AM on November 11th. Over 2,000 soldiers lost their lives on that last day.
I wonder what Americans would think of such a circumstance today. The courage and sacrifice of Americans throughout our history is a story that needs to be remembered. We are quick to forget each war as it passes until the next one. The First World War was followed by the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression. After the Great Depression the Second World War occurred. The First World War veterans were essentially forgotten.
I hope the same doesn't happen to the veterans of today. As much as we want to get back to normal after a war, please don't forget the veterans who gave everything they had. For the most part they, too, wanted to get back to normal, but they have an amazing burden to leave behind. It takes time. Please don't forget them.
I NEVER WILL.