I wanted to take a moment to mention that we recently have lost another hero of Americas Greatest Generation. Art Gilbert, born in 1921, was man who's story was so typical of so many boys who grew up in depression era America. He rode a milk cow to school each day in his youth and later, after WWII built his house, brick by brick, from the rubble salvaged from a demolition of his Methodist church down town. As an Army Engineer, he landed in the second wave, D-Day (June 6th, 1944) on Omaha Beach. He and his gun crew, who miraculously made it ashore, were cited for actions resulting in the destruction of a German heavy gun battery that had decimated Army Rangers in the first wave landing. Art Gilbert was a member of America's Greatest Generation that, quite literally, saved the world from the brink of destruction. Just in case you're wondering why Garth Brooks doesn't sing in German (or Japanese) today.
I would also like to honor the loss of my Father-in-law, John Nicholas Simpson, in August of 2011, who also served on the sands of the South Pacific in our conflict with the Empire of Japan. John was an rifleman in an infantry unit seeing action in the Battle of Makin Atoll, Quagilene, Saipan and Okinawa.