Saturday, May 27, 2006

In Memoriam: The Name in the Stone

In honor of Memorial Day, and of his uncle who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, blogger Gerard Van der Leun of American Digest posts this moving story of his family's loss and his own journey to maturity.
...[M]y grandfather rose from his chair and walked to the middle of the hallway. He took a framed photograph off the wall where hung next to a framed gold star. It had been in that place so long that I'd stopped seeing it.

My grandfather walked back to the table and very gently handed me the photograph. It show a smooth-faced handsome young flyer with an open smile. He was dressed in fleece-lined leather flying jacket and leaning casually against the fuselage of a bomber. You could see the clear plastic in the nose of the plane just above his head to his right. On the picture, was the inscription: "Folks, Here's my new office! Gerard."

My grandfather stood behind me as I looked at the picture. "You are not Gerard. You just have his name, but you are not him. That's my son. That's Gerard. If you don't mind, we will continue to call you Jerry in this house. If you do mind, you don't have to come here any more."

Hat-tip: Pat of Brainster's Blog



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