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No. 271-272: Normandie—A Soldier’s Letter Home & Giving Thanks


November 1944, France

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We had the turkey and all the trimmings. Most of the doughboys had turkey also. It’s amazing when you think of all of us, so far from home, observing still in the midst of a battlefield, Thanksgiving. I’m sure there was many who gave thanks to God today. I was sure one of them.I recently was able to see some of the dead boys they had just taken off the battlefield. If some of the men back home, whom of personal ambition attempt to prolong the war, could see them–I’m sure the war would soon end. When you look at them you can’t help but think–why are they dead! Just a year or so ago they were either going to school-working-married, and now they’re dead. Many among them had ambition–all looked forward to the future–Now they’re dead. It keeps shooting thru your mind-again and again-why have these men died? I know why we fight-I know of the values we’re trying to secure. I hope these men have not given their lives for empty words. I’m sorry I went up on slight a philosophical side. But I had to air out some of my thoughts.

Love, Harold

Ryan-Hill-uniform-tallNovember 2006, Iraq

i try not to cry. i have never cried this much my entire life two great men got taken from us way too soon.i wonder why it was them in not me. i sit here right now wondering why did they go to the gates of heaven n not me? i try every night count my blessing that i made it another day but why are we in this hell over here? why? i cant stop askin why? the more i think the more i cry.why? i try n figure out the reasons that people die n i still don’t know why. all i can do is live my life to the fullest but i still don’t know why.

(From the journal of Pfc. Ryan J. Hill, 20, who was riding in a Humvee on Jan. 20, 2007, when an IED buried in the middle of the road detonated under his seat, killing him instantly.)


 Thanks little brother for everything you have sacrificed.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bendilyn Bach #

    Powerful stuff. Humbling. So thankful for those who have defended those “values we are trying to secure.” Here’s to them!

    June 9, 2014
  2. Sorry Nancy , seems inappropriate to “Like” this post ……but I was very moved


    June 9, 2014
    • Yes. I was a bit off topic, but I was terribly moved by D-day in France and personally very inspired by the sacrifices that my brother has made with four tours to Iraq and Afghanistan and through his career in the military. I’m very motivated to somehow help with veterans’ rights when I’m in the States. Thanks for the comment. x

      June 10, 2014
  3. Todd Gonring #

    Thanks Nancy it’s a very thoughtful post.

    June 9, 2014
    • It was quite moving to be in France for this 70th anniversary of D-day. I’ve been thinking about you often this week and your strength and courage and goodness. x

      June 10, 2014

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