Saturday we joined Jerry and Gloria at the Atlanta World War II Roundtable. Jerry founded the group over 30 years ago with the idea that veterans and historians could tell their stories about their experiences. It was our honor to join in and have lunch with several veterans from WWII. Almost two hundred people attended the event at one of the local restaurants. They even had a small band and a singer doing songs from that era.
The lady in the red dress brought the band in and sang with them. She was attractive and did a good job and yet she was probably in her early 70’s. Seniors rule!
It was impressive walking through the crowd and rubbing elbows with these American heroes. There were probably about 30 WWII vets in the crowd. Once everyone got seated they started the ceremony with a prayer followed by the Pledge of Alligance and the singing of God Bless America. Talk about getting goose bumps.
As lunch concluded they had a presentation of certificates to those veterans present who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. About six veterans were there to accept their certificate.
Among those being awarded a certificate was Carl Beck, who was a paratrooper who jumped behind the German lines the night before D-Day. Carl Beck is some guy. He landed in a swamp and lost the weapon he was carrying. So he was in enemy territory with no weapon. He found another American soldier and they hid out until he could connect with other friendly troops. The suit jacket Carl was wearing today was laden with medals of his courage and dedication to the country he loved. Carl related a story about the Battle of the Bulge when he found himself in a fox hole with enemy artillery falling all around him. He said he prayed to God that it stop. Shortly after his desperate prayer the shelling stopped. Carl said that it was that experience that helped him find God and he has been with him ever since. We took Quincy over to meet Carl. They got along quite well as you can see.
And here we are with Jerry and Gloria.
It was certainly an honor to be in the presence of these American heroes. It got me to thinking that anyone elected or appointed to a government office (federal, state or local) should get up every day and work as hard as they could to keep America strong and in the image of the country that these men fought and died for. It is their duty to fulfill this obligation as it was the duty of these veterans to fight for the dream and to keep America safe.
It was an honor.