I made Dad cry this morning.
I had found an interesting article about WWII and put it into a larger format for him to read. He was so overcome by emotion that he couldn't speak for a while ... Please read this article then continue with this blog. I tried to link the site, but couldn't make it work.
Dad was a paratrooper during WWII, and was brought into the Battle of the Bulge toward the end. He was captured by the Nazis, and put into the POW camp mentioned in the article in Bad Orb, Germany (an interesting side note, when I was in Germany I attempted to find this camp, and was repeatedly told by people of Bad Orb that "it does not exist" and "never did" -- before they became silent and uncommunicative. I never did find it or anyone willing to talk about it).
Gibson is a very English name ... which is probably why Dad was spared the Berga slave camp. He was forced to endure torture, starvation, dysentery, and a "death march" through days and miles of snow that was 2-1/2 feet deep. Most of the soldiers who started the march didn't make it to the end. Bodies were piled up in frozen mounds along the way.
He has written down his memories of those times, but never speaks of them. I think that maybe now is the time for me to read them ... to ask questions ... to make sure no one ever forgets ... to thank him for his service to his country. After all, if he hadn't made it, I wouldn't be here. None of us would have the lives we lead. Thank you all Veterans for your service to your country ... your families ... to me.