My father chose democracy, and I will, too

EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter is running a second time because, when it first appeared on June 15, an editing mistake led to an error in the letter. The letter below has been corrected.

June 6, D-Day, come and gone.

Did you remember the day?

I watched coverage of the day as old men with broken bodies sat in their wheelchairs proudly displaying their medals pinned to their uniforms.

I thought about my dad. He would say, “I was an 18-year-old farm boy when I left for the service.”

The men and women in France on June 6 this year were 17, 18, and 20 years old 80 years ago. Strong bodies with even a stronger will to preserve freedom pulsed through their bodies back then.

I heard while watching the D-Day coverage 230 men landed on one beach and by the end of the day, 18 were alive, 212 dead, and over 4,000 were lost that day.

My farm-boy dad ended up in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator on a B-17. On his 33rd mission, 34 missions you could be discharged, the plane took so much flak and was damaged so heavily, they knew they had to land. With the help of another crew in a different plane and using hand signals, they made it to Sweden.

Raymond J. Kaiser was now a POW. Imagine getting that letter.

The old men on this June 6, struggled to stand but summoned the courage and stood proudly just as they summoned the courage to fight on those beaches 80 years ago.

My dad’s uniform is displayed in our home. When he would visit he often looked at his uniform, adjusted his medals and I could see on his face he was proud of his service.

Raymond J. Kaiser was not a sucker or loser. He was a hero among heroes of World War II. If alive today, he would choose decency and democracy again. As his daughter, I will choose the same.




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