Thank a vet

Published 10:19 am Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday was the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the largest amphibious landing in the history of warfare. The day also marks the beginning of the end of the tyrannical and genocidal rule of Adolf Hitler.

For those who participated in it, the D-Day invasion must have been terrifying. Jumping from boats in chest-high water and running to the beach, all the while dodging enemy fire, mines and other obstacles, those who survived made it through everything their Nazi enemies could throw at them.

If ever there were a moment in modern times that illustrated the horrors of war, the carnage produced on June 6, 1944, would have been it.

Trouble is, it’s getting more difficult every year to find someone who participated in D-Day, or fought in World War II for that matter. Our veterans from that war are slowly disappearing, and their stories and life experiences are going with them. World War II was the most destructive conflict in human history. People would think much differently about all wars if they heard about it from someone who participated in one.

We are fortunate that some D-Day and World War II veterans, like Allen Minetree of Franklin, are still with us. Although every one of them may not be willing to talk about what they saw and experienced during that conflict, some might be willing to share. The most well-written and illustrated history book and even the most action-packed blockbuster movie will never replace the first-hand accounts these men have.

They have a story to tell. Let’s all listen. And let’s all thank them for their service.

Before we can’t do either one of those things.