November 11th, 2009

Interesting words

"It is a sad truth, but we have lost the faculty of giving lovely names to things. Names are everything. I never quarrel with actions; my one quarrel is with words. That is the reason I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who would call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for."
Oscar Wilde

Family stories of the military

My mother's father was German, and in that family there were three sons in 1880. They split up with one son going to Wisconsin(my great-great-grandfather); another son emigrated to Howard City, Michigan; a third son stayed in Germany. All prospered. By WWII, each line had an adult to contribute to the war effort. My uncle Don served in the army and returned home safely. A son in the Michigan line served as a pilot in the forces and died in, I think, June of 1944, shot down by the Luftwaffe. Here is the irony: at the same time a son from the German line was also a pilot in the Luftwaffe. Within the month, he also went down with his plane. Two young men in opposing air forces. Two dead young men.

As an addition: My maternal grandmother's father, Carl Hanson, was in the Canadian military in WWI. In 1917 he was in Europe where he caught the horrible Spanish Influenza and died. He is buried in the military cemetery in Folkstone, England.

Today, Armistice Day, we think of these sacrifices.