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 Post subject: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 9:12 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3911
Location: Ellsworth
All......

Yes, this is a flyfishing website, but today is the anniversary of one of the most important days in the history of the world.

On June 6th of 1944 the Allies invaded Normandy and started the western part of the pincers push to rid Europe of the Nazi menace.

Many of our Dads were in those group of Americans, British, and Canadians from the Greatest Generation.

My Dad hit the beach at Omaha. Most of those guys are now gone, but let's not ever forget what they did that day.

America is now as fractured as we've been since the late 60's, but let's all take a few seconds today to remember their accomplishment.

Dave M

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"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 10:06 am 
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
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I've lost a few older relatives to the ravages of time lately. One was my father's uncle. When I was much younger and learning finish carpentry from him, I can remember sitting around on sawhorses during coffee break with him talking about the war. He hit the Normandy beaches at D-Day plus 6. He told stories of having to fashion sheet metal snorkels for the trucks carrying ordinances off the boats and onto the beach as they got pushed back into the water several times by shelling. Other than a few stories about the time spent on troop ships (bad weather anyone) and time in England prior to the push into Normandy, he didn't talk about the remainder of the war, ever. He passed away this winter at the ripe age of 98. His wife followed a few weeks later.

A family friend, who passed back in the 80's- and was probably the finest fisherman I've known, had a glass eye from the war. He'd been sent out on reconnaissance with two other guys. Their mission was to draw enemy fire so that the rest of their unit could answer fire with fire. Someone back in the engineering department had the bright idea to attach a grenade to the end of an M1 Garand and use the force of the 0.30 caliber to launch it over the Germans. Unfortunately it only went a couple of feet before detonating, killing the other two he was with and leaving him with only one eye. He rode a hospital ship back to the States that my grandfather had just rode over to the war on as a troop transport ship. He drank Old Milwaukee- but only after leaving the case in the sun all afternoon so that it was good and warm. He also smoked a pipe of Prince Albert tobacco- which led to his ultimate demise with lung cancer. The fish I caught with that guy while he was alive.

My grandfather signed up at the early age of 17 and headed to Europe. He fought his way across Europe as an infantryman before joining the MP's to sweep up the German officers following the war. He later signed back up with an artillery unit and fought in Korea. He was a rugged SOB, and after the war- wasn't afraid to haul the attendant over the counter at the local autoparts store if he'd forgotten to order parts. After the war, he took up well drilling for a private contractor. He got sent to an air base in Greenland one November to drill the runway to deal with permafrost issues. While drilling, he hit the main power line leading to the mess haul, unbeknownst to him. When he and his helper went to the mess haul for turkey dinner (Thanksgiving), they found 400 very pissed off marines who's turkey was being served raw because the ovens didn't have power. Needless to say- the MP's ended up having to be called. He died back in '77, but I was reminded of him this past weekend while laying my grandmother to rest beside him. That whole generation was a tough lot.

And while on the subject of grandparents- while thinking about my grandmother last week while out on a remote pond- I noted I was using a paddle with a set of initials written on it by my grandfather, handed down to me by my father.

My hats off to all of them.

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"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 6th, 2017, 11:52 am 
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Joined: March 16th, 2013, 11:04 pm
Posts: 545
Dave M, just stickied this, Thank You for posting this.


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 7th, 2017, 9:40 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2007, 12:00 am
Posts: 6
My father also was at Normandy. He went in two or three days after June 6 with a headquarters division. Never said much specifically about his experiences but I know later on he got caught up in The Bulge and helped liberate Dachau. As a child I used to sit and listen to the stories told by the WWII era veterans during VFW meetings at our house. The ladies auxiliary had hours long meetings but the guys were done in ten minutes. They spent the rest of the evening telling war-time stories and I ate it up. Wish I could sit and listen to those men today.

Every year on days like these(and anytime I can do so) I try to impress upon my sixth grade students how much we owe that generation and all those that followed and still follow today. Many of the students get it... which gives me hope.

Other thoughts for other times.


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 8th, 2017, 1:51 am 
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Joined: February 14th, 2007, 1:00 am
Posts: 1216
Location: New Hampshire
I am sorry i missed this two days ago... i guess i was busy stewing about large wire hooks... anyway...

Indeed, the 6th of June is a quietly proud day to be an American in France. I shared our trip to that region last spring, it was breathtakingly patriotic. It is a pride of my life that my kids had the sand of Omaha Beach between their toes. Seeing the topography that they were up against explains the toll it took.

When we encounter new Americans to France to are struggling with their acclimation with living here, we direct them to this exact coordinates, it puts a little pep in their step.


Lots of these

Image

The ceiling of the chapel in teh middle of the American Cemetary.

Image

10k crosses, all in a row

Image

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"Fishermen...spending their lives in the fields and woods...are often in a more favorable mood for observing her, in the intervals of their pursuits, than philosophers or poets even, who approach her with expectation." - Thoreau


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 8th, 2017, 9:53 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3911
Location: Ellsworth
Tim...

Thank you for posting those pictures. I have damned few regrets in life, but I do have one major one.

In 1994, on the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day my Dad desperately wanted to attend. I just didn't have the money to fly both of us over there; and he was too ill to attend by himself. I should have re-mortaged my house to get him there. Money can be replaced, but memories live forever. I regret that every year on the anniversary. My Dad has been gone 16 years now, (physically) and mentally for several years before that, but still I regret it.

Dave M

_________________
"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009


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 Post subject: Re: O/T Today in history
PostPosted: June 13th, 2017, 3:24 pm 
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Joined: May 11th, 2010, 12:11 pm
Posts: 413
Location: Maine
This thread really caught my interest, and I would like to add a few more comments. During W.W. II, not only did many of our fathers serve but also many of our mothers served; or in some other way, worked for the War effort...my mother, for example, donated her high school graduation gift, a German shepherd dog, as a service dog, to the War; also, my mother worked in a government accounting office; and my mother volunteered long hours to watch for enemy planes, in a Civil Air Patrol, observation building. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, it did seem like almost every kid on my street and almost every student in my school had a father, who had served in one of the branches of the military during W.W. II. My Dad served during the duration of the War, in the Army, in the South Pacific, on the Japanese Island of Okinawa. At the end of the War, he returned home with the rank of Master Sergeant, got out of the Regular Army, and then enlisted for 33 more years in the Maine National Guard. My Dad died a few years ago, when he was 99 years old...after enjoying a fruitful life and being a fantastic father to my brother, sister, and me. Dave M, I too, have felt guilty, because my Dad and I had planned to go to the W.W. II Memorial in Washington, D.C.; but mainly because of my schedule or conflicts, we just never made it there, together. However, we did visit, at my father's enthusiastic request, one of the last Liberty Ships, still afloat, at the Portland Pier, when my father was 94 years old. A Liberty Ship was what he went over on at the beginning of the War and what he came back on at the end of the War...he always told us coming home on that Ship was the best trip of his life! That day we took him for the visit, he had a blast on that Liberty Ship, and even though my Dad was 6'3" and was quite old at the time, both my wife and I enjoyed following him, through all the small hatches and narrow passageways and listening to his reminiscing narratives. The last few years of his life, my Dad started wearing a hat that said, "World War II Veteran"; and I know he was always very appreciative and very humbled, when complete strangers, would so often come up to him and thank him for his military service. It is so sad that there are so few W.W. II Veterans still alive today...because it was they, who made our country a safe place for all of us. Maybe, Tom Brokaw, really did have it right, when he called them, "The Greatest Generation!"


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