Col. William DeGraf U.S. Army (Ret.) served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam said, “Memorial Days is a chance for the country to remember those who have passed before; who have been part of the family called Americans.”
Bob Miller is the person he thinks about every day. He knew him since his days at Fort. Bragg. Miller was killed while he and DeGraf were on a scouting mission; Miller was killed 10 feet in front of him. Yet, DeGraf also says he thinks about his other comrades who didn’t make it home.
Col. Edward Burr U.S. Army (Ret.) was wounded in Carentan during Operation Overload in July of 1944, but survived. He got married, raised a family, and enjoyed a blessed life after history’s most terrible war.
“We enjoyed all this country has to offer,” he said. “And that’s what these young people that were in those graves might have done if they had lived, so we need to honor them with tears and honor their valor in what they did in helping to keep this country safe and as wonderful as it is today,” he added.
Major-General George Rebh U.S. Army (Ret.) said it’s a solemn day, a day to reflect on the people who didn’t make it home and commemorate their sacrifice for keeping this country safe and to honor their contribution to that end. Many of his classmates were killed in World War II.
LTG Julius W. Becton, Jr. (U.S. Army) (Ret.) noted that he too reflects on his fellow comrades that had fallen, and what they might have been if they had made it home.
Yet, Col. Burr also said that we should also think about the families of the fallen, and how their loss affected them.
“There were 400,000 men and women killed in World War II. They left behind a trail of probably two or three million people directly affected y their loss,” he said.
Our freedom has been paid with the blood of 1.3 million Americans since our founding, and we should be eternally grateful to these extraordinary men and women who decided to give it all so we can have so much.