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This morning just after 5 a.m. I woke to the sound of bells ringing. It seemed like every bell in town was ringing and immediately my mind flew to the thought that there must be some disaster happening and they must be trying to warn us. Was it 911 happening all over again???
I quickly woke my husband but he just said he didn’t know and rolled over, exhausted, his mind couldn’t even understand what I was saying. The bells continued to ring and I opened the window to see if all the neighbors were up, wondering if we should we prepare for the worst? I was really panicking.
I turned on my tablet and pulled up cnn.com but only saw more complaining about the election so there must not be a world crisis going on but why were the bells ringing? I belong to a few local Facebook groups that talk about news around town and so quickly went to one of those groups and found my answer.
The bells were not ringing because the world was imploding, the bells were ringing to signify PEACE and to thank our Veteran’s for their service. Imagine my real relief.
Can you imagine what it must have been like when WWI or WWII ended and the bells were ringing here in the US and in so many countries in Europe and in the home countries of other allies? Can you imagine the joy and elation they felt?
I would not mind waking up every morning to the sound of bells, reminding me that we have a lot to be thankful for and that peace is possible. I never again want to wake up to anything like the news of 911.
This morning I woke up terrified…. and my fear turned to gratitude and thankfulness to our Veterans, and the Veterans that are our allies, for protecting our country and our way of life. Whatever your politics are, surely you can acknowledge the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.
Many of us are sadly at the age where our grandparents are no longer with us to tell us about what it was like to live through the Great Depression and then WWII, much less WWI. Not many Vietnam Veterans are vocal about their experiences so a great deal of history is being lost. I love history myself and combined with reading, I have a great hobby. I have put together some lists of books if you would like to find out more about these periods of time and what went on for the common man, not from the standpoint of generals or politicians. If we forget the past, we are at risk of reliving it.
But let’s not forget our new generations of Veterans either. We have millions of people now that are Veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I am probably missing some group so someone will be kind enough to correct me and I can add them.
My oldest son is my own personal hero, a Veteran of Iraq. I am unbelievably proud of him and the man he has become. He not only volunteered for the Army at the age of 16 (that’s a story for another time) but now works in the Veteran’s Affairs office at a college and is an advocate for Veterans at the state level.
Here is a picture of my son Aaron and his son when he came back from Iraq, one of the happiest moments of my life!
I hope everyone today is thankful in their hearts for what these men and women have accomplished and preserved for us and to remember that Freedom isn’t Free. Thank you to the men and women just like us who have gone and given something of themselves that not all of us would or could. Thank you also to their families at home for everything that they have also had to sacrifice.
Free Kindle books to learn more about the history of Veterans who have fought for us. Please double check the prices before you order, they can change at any time on Amazon.
- Lest We Forget World War Stories
- Welcome Home: A Story of the Vietnam War
- The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865
- Four Weeks in the Trenches The War Story of a Violinist
- The Forgotten Women Heroes: Second World War Untold Stories – The Women Heroes in the Extraordinary World War Two
Kindle books with good reviews, check at your local library for copies before spending money on them. These are not affiliate links, just links to books I think you might find informative.
- Pearl Harbor and More: Stories of WWII – December 1941 Kindle Edition .99
- “They Have Seen The Elephant”: Veterans’ Remembrances from World War II .99
- Memorial Day Veteran Vietnam Poetry: Memorial Day – The American Public and Losing Friends .99
- 21 Months, 24 Days: A blue-collar kid’s journey to the Vietnam War and back $1.99
- The Last Goodnight: A World War II Story of Espionage, Adventure, and Betrayal $1.99 I read this book last month. It is the story of an American woman who spied for the British and US governments during WWII and undoubtedly turned the tide and helped win the war. The book is not the most well-written book I have read, but the stories of what she accomplished are incredible. It is also the story of a woman’s regret over the choices she made when it came to her life, relationships, and children. Well worth the read.
- A Mile in Their Shoes: Conversations With Veterans of World War II $2.99
- Our Mothers’ War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II $3.99
- A Train Near Magdeburg: A Teacher’s Journey into the Holocaust, and the Reuniting of the Survivors and Liberators, 70 years on $3.99
- A Soldier Looks Back: Memories and Reflections of a Combat Veteran, from Normandy to Afghanistan $7.99
- Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent (Women of Action) $9.59 I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. The war efforts of the people on the homefront are so often forgotten, but they are heroes also.
- Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue (Women of Action) $9.84 Another great book I have read in the past. I actually found it so interesting that I researched many of the women and events in the book to find out more.
- World War I (5 Book Series) by Anne PerryThis series begins on the eve of WWI in England and follows the Reavley family throughout the war. They uncover a conspiracy that could have prevented the war and as the story progresses, they try and track down the Peacemaker, the code name of the person behind the conspiracies to drastically change the war as it continues, leaving the world a completely changed place than what our troops are fighting for. The conspiracy plot is interesting with many twists to keep you interested. I also found it just as fascinating to read about what it was like not only for the people left on the homefront but particularly, learning about what life was really like at the front.
The plot is constantly questioning war and sacrifice and the author reminds us “that love and hate, cowardice and courage, good and evil are always a part of life, in our own time as well as on the eve of the greatest war the world has ever known.”
Those concepts are as true then as they are now and I enjoyed each novel, though some were hard to follow with the twists of plot and espionage involved. I was constantly researching the battles and real events as they took place in the books and think that anyone who loves history will certainly love these books. As always, there is a bit of romance thrown in also.
Unfortunately, there is so much controversy surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is difficult to recommend any book without offending someone unintentionally. I wish I did know of some good books to share with you about those wars and the lives of our brave soldiers who fought in them. If you know of any, please let me know.