Today we recall the young men and women who faced enemy guns to make life better for the rest of us. Washington’s men, during the Revolution, nearly starved through three shivering winters. They won this spacious land that our grandparents took over, raising our healthy families.
My grandmother was alive during the Civil War. She did a few steps for me, singing, “We’ll hang Jeff Davis on a sour apple tree.” I have friends who ride the same bus with me day after day. They are teachers, truck drivers, bank clerks, all descended from people brought here in chains: people sold by the pound. I don’t know much about my distant uncles who died in the Civil War, but I gratefully remember them, thanking them for freeing us whites from the sin of slave ownership.
Barry and Tony from my street at home looked spiffy in their parachuter uniforms. They gave their lives on D-Day, freeing Europe from a “master race” that shoved women and kids into ovens.