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Thread: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    This post may not be for everyone but deep in my heart I feel that it should be. I recently lost a great uncle whom in reality I didn’t know that well. I didn’t for example know that he severed in WWll and the sacrifice that he made for us. He was just a simple WWll "Dog face" who, with thousands of others like him, changed the world so you and I can enjoy our freedom. This poem – story is something that he wrote in the later years of his life as he reflected back. Let’s not forget that never did so many owe so few.



    FIVE LITTLE WORDS


    So many years ago, in the early spring of my youth, when my only worries were passing from one grade to another in grammar and high school, I was too young to ponder upon these five little words: “This too shall pass away.”

    Finally in my late teens in the midst of The Great Depression, my worries really began when I was unable to find a job. Thinking back, I realized I could have consoled myself by saying: “This too shall pass away”, for in due time with fervent prayers, I did find a job. After only a few months of working at my new position, I was called into military service.

    I will never forget the night boarding the train for Camp Forrest, some 60 miles away. My mind was occupied with the thoughts of when and if I would ever return home. Would I have to go overseas to the battle zones? How nervous I was and full of apprehension. Those weeks of strenuous basic training! The seemingly endless days and nights of loneliness, being away from my loved ones. I kept thinking and saying to myself, this too shall pass away.

    Finally the day came when I arrived in New York Harbor and boarded the big ship and headed for England. German U boats were still prowling the Atlantic. My worst fears were finally becoming a reality. Some eight days later, we arrived in Liverpool. I kept wondering, what in the world am I doing in this strange country, thousand of miles away from home? Would I ever see my home and family again? After a few days of training in England, we headed for the Channel side of the English coast. It seemed that all of a sudden this great feeling of dread and fear swept over me. One by one we were herded on one of the small landing boats that lined the harbor.

    Just a few miles away, furious battles were raging in the hedgerows and orchards of Normandy. I kept wondering, am I dreaming, is this all one big nightmare? A few hundred feet from the Normandy coast, a weary little band of GI’s started wading for shore. Again, in silence, I kept saying: “This too shall pass away.”

    One of the first things that caught my eye, was a little cemetery not too far from the coast, dotted with white crosses. Here lay the remains of those who had fallen in battle not too many days back. On through the fields and hedgerows of Normandy we went, stopping in the late afternoons to pitch our tents and digging foxholes. My mind was constantly on my Creator, my God. I wondered about my fellow soldiers and comrades. Did they pray along with me that our Lord would preserve and protect us. I thought of the old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes”.


    On through France we trudged, stopping now and then to view the ruins and desolation of the towns and villages that we passed through. After we left Normandy and moved toward the heartland of France, I was assigned to the XX Corps in Patton’s Third Army. I well remember my first encounter with death or serious injury. We had set up headquarters in some old French barracks near the town of Jarny Conflans in the northwestern section of France, within range of a battery of huge German artillery guns mounted on railway cars near the boarder town of Metz. German spotter planes had located our position. We had only been there a few hours when we were caught in a barrage of fire from these massive weapons. Well up in the night we were under fire. We all sought refuge in the basement of one of these old buildings. The next morning we found huge chunks of shrapnel scattered around the inner courtyard. Fortunately not one of our little group was killed or injured. Did God answer our prayers that we might be spared? I certainly believe he did.

    How well do I remember receiving a letter from my mother a few days later. She mentioned that she had a sort of a premonition one night while lying in bed that I was in imminent danger. She said that she prayed nearly all night long for my safety. It suddenly dawned upon me that this was about the time we were under attack. I know that she must have thought along with me that this too shall pass away.

    We finally reached the German border. After a few days stay at Thionville, a fairly large French border town, we heard of the massive German counterattack at Bastogne, not too many miles northeast of us. Of course this was later known as the Battle of the Bulge. We all know that if this last ditch attack by the Germans had lasted much longer, we would have all been thrown into the fray. After several days of intense fighting and hundreds of our fellow soldiers killed or injured, the Germans were finally repelled. The greatest war in the history of mankind was beginning to wind down. I know that God had once again answered my prayers and safely led us through Germany and into Austria to the end of this great conflict.

    What a great feeling that was to board that big boat at Antwerp, and head back to my beloved homeland. The happiness and joy that attended my homecoming!

    I shall always be eternally grateful to my Lord for seeing me and the little group of my fellow servicemen through all those months of hardship and peril, that we all arrived safely back home to resume our normal lives.

    Many fleeting years have come and gone since then. I have reached the winter years of life. A life with its usual heartaches, disappointments, physical infirmities, failing eyesight. How thankful that my Creator has allowed me to live beyond the proverbial three score and ten. I know that one of the days, just when we do not know, I will fade away into the vast eternity. Then I can say - Finally, it has all passed away.


    Written by:
    Lloyd Edward Smith in 1989

    Lloyd Served in the United States Army from November 1, 1942 until January 14, 1946. He departed the United States on June 16, 1944 and arrived in Liverpool, England on June 6, 1944. He departed from Europe at Antwerp on December 17, 1945 and arrived in the United States on January 7, 1946. He served under General Patton’s 3rd army in the Military Intelligence.

    Battles and Campaigns

    Battle of Northern France
    Battle of Rhineland
    Battle of Central Europe

    Decorations and Citations

    Good Conduct Medal
    European Theater
    Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars
    American Theater Ribbon

  2. #2
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    tvodrd's Avatar
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    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    What those guys endured makes my year in "Nam" kind of a cake-walk (to me). Awsome!

    Larry

  3. #3

    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    Thank you for sharing that with us. God Bless!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    Wow.

  5. #5
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    Thank you for sharing that!

    Indeed we should not forget those before us, those who are serving now, and those who will follow in their footsteps in the future!! This thank you and respect extends to their families and to those who may not necessarily be wearing the uniform, but serving their countries in other positive ways.

  6. #6
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    thanks

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* PlayboyJoeShmoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: FIVE LITTLE WORDS

    Thanks for sharing dude!

    And TVODRD, Thank YOU for your service!

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