Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day Thanks

Hey folks - this post has absolutely nothing to do with junking or SHR - but is a personal note from me.

Today is Veteran's Day. It is easy to forget that - except for the great sales at the mall. But I am wishing that each and every one of you take a few minutes to remember all of the men and women who have given their lives, or limbs, or time to protect this country for the rest of us.

I was just a little too young to have friends who served in Nam, but later in life I dated a man who had served. He came home with medals of bravery - and a pretty messed up head. He was greeted by his family as a hero - and had people on the streets spit on him and throw garbage at him for being a vet.

My father was just a little to young to have served in WWII. He was born in Willmar, MN - the 5th child of Norwegian immigrant parents. His mother didn't acclimate to America well - so they made the decision to move back to Norway. My grandmother and my father and his younger brother and 2 younger sisters went on ahead to Norway while my grandpa stayed behind to sell the house and business. WWII broke out and my grandpa couldn't travel to Norway. My father's 3 older brothers joined the service and served in Europe and Northern Africa. My grandfather died in Willmar - my grandmother died in Norway. My father - being the oldest child in Norway had to quit school at 14 and be the man of the family - he took care of his mother and younger siblings - through the occupation and after. He talked about the German occupation of Norway - he would never eat fish again because the Nazi's confiscated the cows, pigs, and chickens. He said we ate fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner - NEVER AGAIN!!

One day while working in the field with his sister the Nazi's confiscated them for a work program. They were taken by boat down to Oslo, Norway and were not allowed to take anything or say goodbye to their mother. At some point in Oslo a Nazi officer made them sign away their American citizenship and proclaim allegiance to Germany. Then he allowed them to return home because my father was the "head" of the family. On their return they found their mother had aged years - thinking that they were dead. And their youngest sister wouldn't talk to them because they had gotten to go on an adventure - and she hadn't!!! She was too young to understand.

My father returned to America in the 1950's, met my mother and stayed. But I will always remember him saying in his thick Norwegian accent - "Norway is my homeland, but America is my home - and it is the GREATEST country in the world!"

So anyway - just a reminder to us all that we are privileged to live in "the GREATEST country in the world" because of the people like my uncles who served in WWII, Barb's father who was at the Battle of the Bulge, my great uncle who went MIA in WWI, my friends who served in Vietnam, my older cousin who served in Korea, Nicole's husband who served in the Gulf, and my husband who served in the army during peace time.

Please remember all of our service men and women today. How lucky we are to have them.


  1. O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife.
    Who more than self their country loved
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine
    Till all success be nobleness
    And every gain divine!

  2. I second Mr. Flannery!!!

    Kris - what a story about your Grandfather and your family - thank you for sharing!!! I thank each and every one of them!!!

    Have a wonderful day today!
    ;-) Robelyn