A Memoir of My Great Grandfather | Teen Ink

A Memoir of My Great Grandfather

November 13, 2018
By jacksonA21 SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
jacksonA21 SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

At first, a moment of silence... Then, the guns raise. “Ready, Aim, Fire!” repeats three times, each shot louder. A salute from each soldier. Taps is played by the general. The American flag raised throughout the service. These incredibly brave souls stand in front of me and my family, honoring and remembering my late great grandfather.


18 years old. World War II. Alaska. My great grandpa was drafted into the Army following his high school career. His initial role was a radio control operator. He controlled the radio systems and landlines, to ensure his base had communication. But it wasn’t long until his everlasting love for flying planes drew attention and he soon became a pilot for the Army, flying planes that would drop paratroopers from the sky. While he lived in Alaska, he also met the love of his life, his future wife. They got married during his service and had a son.


Water skiing. Veterans are permanently scarred with battle scars, wounds, and bruises that never heal. My great grandfather lost his thumb. The most ironic part? It was while he was water skiing. I remember when I was younger, he offered me a dollar if I could tie my shoe without my thumbs. I never could. He showed me how.


Ford. Harley. Nine fingers. Military service wasn’t the only service my great grandfather did. He was an auto mechanic at Ford for over 50 years, running his own motorcycle license class on the side. A job, dependent on using your hands, without two full hands.


To a man who dedicated his whole life to giving, all 86 years, this is the least I could do for you. I love you grandpa.


Because of my grandpa’s sacrifice, service, and spirit, freedom of speech means saying what you want to say, when you want to say it. It’s about us coming together to share our opinions on topics we may disagree about. It’s about joining hands and walking through political debates and religious sites, with the freedom of choice.



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This article has 1 comment.


Marcolopez said...
on Dec. 19 2019 at 2:30 pm
Marcolopez, Sacramento, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
This is so heart touching. The best one that i have read. If been in the same situation when I was young.


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