A Fitting Tribute

The last two days were a marathon that I was simply happy to get through. Slotting in clients amongst a Samsung 3D TV promotion and a super stressful audition made for some exhausting hours which were capped off with a 5 hour late night shift at my gym. I was finally lucky and caught a break today with only one client and a few errands to run.

During this time though, my grandfather

(notice any resemblance?) was on a journey of his own, one long overdue and well deserved. He is one of the remaining few WWII survivors and as such was asked by the government in conjunction with HBO (which was doing a promotion for their new mini-series based on the war in The Pacific) to fly to DC to participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the recently completed WWII memorial.This was organized by The Honor Flight Network which describes itself below:

“Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over one thousand World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.”

From the missives and updates emailed at steady intervals by my mother, it seems the trip was a special and memorable one. Steven Speilberg and Tom Hanks were both there to speak and honor the veterans. They were greeted at both the departing and arriving airports by volunteers only too eager to help and shake hands. A showing of Casablanca and a screening of the first episode of The Pacific was held for the men along with dinner. My cousin Courtney who lives and works in DC was able to attend some of the events and took some great pics.

Sal Citrano-WWII Memorial

Sal Citrano-WWII Memorial

Sal Citrano and grandaughter Courtney Yohe

Sal Citrano and grandaughter Courtney Yohe

It is comforting to know that we still have living tangible reminders of what happened 60 years ago that involved nearly the entire civilized world. Much about this subject has been written, portrayed and reenacted, but the lives and times of these men an women can’t be fully comprehended by those of us that weren’t there. As time and tide take more of them day by day, the opportunity to learn and most importantly thank them is dwindling rapidly. Its good that we are doing it now, for we are here to do it, because of them and their sacrifice.