Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran’s Day Thoughts
I have never been in the military myself so I can not speak as a veteran but am certainly thankful for all of you out there who did serve this nation in the military. This service allows us to remain the free and independent country we are today. Sure we could do a better job managing the politics of governing this country and we could do a better job of regulating our capitalistic economy but our basic freedoms have historically been protected by our military since signing the Declaration of Independence many years ago. We have been involved in many wars over the years but the current war is the first one that does not seem to involve a single country but an ideology of radical Islam and its influence over groups in several countries, the most recent originating in Yemen. We are now negotiating with Yemen government trying to gain authorization for conducting targeted drone attacks – yet another country involvement in our efforts to combat al Qaeda internationally.
My Step Father, Frederick Schweinlin, was one of several hundred thousand USA troops who joined Allied forces in Normandy, France, during Operation Overlord in World War II. The invasion was the largest amphibious operation in history. He used to tell me a little about the terror that the young men experienced as the amphibious landing craft neared the Omaha Beach on that day in early June 1944. They could hear arterial fire all around them and then the front gate of the carrier opened and the troops poured out of the 4100 carriers wading their way onto shore in the middle of bullets penetrating the water all around them. He survived that battle and several more that came later as they defeated Hitler and then came home to resume life as American citizens. He continued serving his fellow citizens as a fireman.
I do extensive volunteer work in a soup kitchen in Wilmington Ohio. I frequently run into veterans who have served in active combat in the several different wars of the 20th and 21st centuries. For some of these veterans their sacrifices are obvious since they have artificial limbs but others are not so obvious in mental scars that came from the terrifying experiences of combat. One of our neighbors just had one of his hips replaced, recently had a pacemaker installed and wears a colostomy bag to facilitate every day bodily functions – all due to injuries experienced when injured as a marine in the Korean conflict. I see many others who have artificial limbs to replace limbs blown off by roadside bombs. For these and millions I have not personally met – I am thankful every time I go into the voting booths or while praying in church or choose the variety of foods we buy or walk the streets of our cities and country side without fear.
This day November 11th is a day set aside by congress to pay special honor to all of our veterans, Click on the video link below:

Thanks vets! Thanks!!!
Ralph Taylor for Ed Winkle


  1. Ralph, I want to let you know that I have enjoyed all your posts for Ed while he's out of town. But this one is most dear to my heart. My father like your step father went on the beach at Omaha Beach. He was in the Big Red One. I haven't been to the WWII Memorial in DC,but while on vacation to the Blue Ridge Parkway we had to make a detour. While on the detour we stopped at the Overlord Monumet in Bedford VA. It was very nice to see and learn more about what those men when thru. Let your step father know that I thank him for his service. my husband and I just got back from our Veterans Day Parade in Batavia. I walked with the Cub Scout that our grandson are in, and our oldest grandson is in the ROTC program at his High School. Jackie

  2. Thanks Jackie! We did get to the new WWII Memorial about 18 months or so ago when we took my Father-In-Law to see it. He is a Korean War Navy Vet. He was riding an electric cart with his Naval Destroyer cap and service dates on the brim while in Washington DC. When he toured the WWII Memorial - there was a steady parade of well wishers thanking him for his service to the USA. It took him by surprise and this burly old Navy man broke down weeping over the gratitude expressed by so many.

    My Step-Dad has been gone now for 10 years or so and did not get to see this memorial. Too bad because he and so many others deserved this great park.

    You should make it a point to get to Washington DC as soon and as often as you can. You will never need a car while there the rapid transiut system there is ttally handicapeed oriented and very convenient to all of the sites to see there.

  3. They had Remembrance Day here, it was very nice. Memorial Day was our first serious date 11 years ago, next year married ten years and she hasn't killed me yet!