It is time for all Americans to learn a little about the freedom they take for granted.
As I watched the D-Day ceremonies, my thoughts moved back in time a few years, to my father, who died in 2008. He served in the South Pacific as a US Marine, between 1942 and 1945. Even though he has been gone for six years, I saw his face in the elderly veterans who had been in the Normandy campaign so long ago.
My father never talked much about the war, as I understand most of the men who served then did not. He was actually in battles from Guadalcanal, New Caledonia and Guam to Okinawa. How could his son, 40 years younger, possibly understand the sacrifice these men made to serve our country?
It was another time and era. Things have changed a lot.
It was a great day to spend remembering my father, and the things we had been through together. He was the son of a minister, who left the plains of Nebraska to graduate from Harvard Law School, and serve his country after Pearl Harbor, in the Marine Corps.
I thought I’d share his obituary from 2008.
Dwight L. Schwab Sr. 1913-2008
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, at The Bedford in Vancouver, WA for Dwight L. Schwab Sr., who died Oct. 7 of pneumonia at age 95. Dwight L. Schwab, Sr. was born March 22, 1913, in Crafton, Neb. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps, including in the battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired a Major in the Marine Corps. A trial attorney, he moved in 1946 to Portland, where he was a member of Hutchinson, Schwab & Burdick. He retired in 1996 after 50 years practicing the law. Mr. Schwab had lived in Vancouver, WA since 2002. In 1947, he married Anna C. MacAskill; she died in 2007. A daughter, Helen, died in 2003. He is survived by his son, Dwight L. Schwab, Jr.
I saw him in the faces of many of the old-timers today, at a place in France 10,000 miles from where he fought so long ago.
I am proud to carry his name and hope I have earned that privilege.
He was quite a guy.