On this Memorial Day I’d like to thank all those who have served in the military, past and present. This includes my dad who was in the Korean War. Before that though, he lived through WWII as a child in occupied Holland. He experienced firsthand the fear of watching German soldiers march through his village, singing rousing songs of victory. He knew deprivation and hunger as the war dragged on and people were forced to eat anything, including tulip bulbs. Sick with dysentery, he also experienced relief as British and America planes dropped boxes of food at the war’s end. Five years later his family immigrated to the US, and he was an immigrant here at the time he was drafted for the Korean War. That always seemed pretty unfair to me, but then nothing about war is very fair. He reports he was a pretty hopeless soldier, and the army tried him in a number of different roles, before settling on KP duty, aka kitchen prep. As a Dutchman, he knows his way around a spud and can peel a potato in one long peel with just a knife and his wits.
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend, and I sincerely hope we can one day stop making more veterans, so we can take care of the ones we have.
You can read more about my dad’s life during WWII here.
Photo credit: Galerie Trompenburgh, painting by Dutch painter Eduard Frankfort.