On a warm and lazy day in the Midwest we stop and bow our heads. We are grateful family and friends are all accounted for on this day. We also ponder those who preceded us, especially those who gave their lives making it possible for us to thrive in a place that is more than blessed with abundant and great good fortune. We are reminded of the Dwight D. Eisenhower speech on D-Day, 1944:
“You are about to embark upon the great crusade towards which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you… I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower 6/6/1944
The two photos above and next one immediately below (the top one of course, is Arlington) are from the stunning World War II Memorial in DC. (Washington, D.C., which happens to be TP’s favorite city in this country, bar none.) The Princess is more than mortified to admit she has never really done the Memorial in a proper way. As in getting out of the vehicle and walking around the Memorial. She is ashamed frankly, to publicly acknowledge this, but then isn’t there something about “The truth shall set us free” or some other pap…? Indeed. Actually, TP’s Father and Uncles all did WWII and she is something of a history buff on this war (although The War Between the States remains her very favorite war) and she is quite eager to see the Memorial; every time she has been in town since the Memorial opened there have either been torrential downpours or we simply have had to head to the airport to make a plane. Every. single. time.
“War drew us from our homeland
In the sunlit springtime of our youth.
Those who did not come back alive remain
in perpetual springtime — forever young –
And a part of them is with us always.”
— Author Unknown
Some of you may have seen the photo above – it is from a Veteran’s Day ceremony in 2004. When we saw it while looking for other things online, it stopped us dead in our tracks. It was a no brainer – we had to learn more about the people involved, especially with one being a Pearl Harbor survivor. The caption reads: “Pearl Harbor survivor Houston James of Dallas is overcome with emotion as he embraces former Marine SSgt Mark Graunke, Jr. of Flower Mound, Texas during the Dallas Veterans Day Commemoration Thursday at Dallas City Hall. SSgt Graunke, Jr., who was a member of a Marine ordnance-disposal team, lost a hand, leg, and eye while defusing a bomb in Iraq in July of last year.”
As best we can ascertain from the Dallas Morning News, Sgt. Graunke’s recovery has continued and he is now married with a daughter. He also talks to wounded soldiers, especially amputees, and recently was asked to select three beneficiaries of an upcoming charitable auction by a local Dallas builder. One of the organizations he picked is the Fisher House, and The Princess is ever-so-excited to read that! Fisher House is an absolutely outstanding group, with locations onsite at major military and VA medical centers where families can stay (just as Graunke’s did) for little or no charge. They are called ‘comfort homes’ and are located right next to or very near the hospitals where military personnel are being treated. We know statistics can make everyone’s eyes glaze over ( I know, how very dreary) but here’s a good one: each year Fisher House serves more than 10,000 families! How cool is that, The Princess asks? Yes, we’re a little bit biased; we are more than proud to say Fisher House is one of the two charitable organizations that PreppyPrincess.com donates 5% of our net profit to; the other is Dogs for the Deaf, equally deserving. (For those who may not have shopped with us yet, you get to choose when you check out – it adds absolutely nothing to your bill; if you don’t decide which of the two groups you would like the 5% to go to, then we just select one of the two at the end of the month.)