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Posts Tagged ‘Veterans Day’

Sgt. Benjamin Demby, Bronze Star winner returns home to Bayonne from the Pacific. Family photographer Jean Litinger, 1945.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and proud veteran.

My uncle Ben Demby was one of my mother’s 7 brothers, 4 of whom served in the Pacific theater. Marty, Al, Ben and  Duke.  They all came back.

The family, some of them immigrants, was so proud of the uncles. That’s me on the porch. Grandma Helen, a little lady, managed to run that household  in Bayonne, NJ, with one bathroom and a tiny kitchen. 3 of the brothers slept in the attic while one slept in the basement, warmed by the furnace.   Like so many vets, my uncles never spoke to me about their adventures, but they brought back some exciting souvenirs including a rifle, a dagger in a leather case, and a shovel suitable for digging foxholes.

Marty brought back his Coast Guard uniform—he served on the convoys traveling the North Atlantic. Every time a new grandchild showed up, he would photograph them in his uniform.  Duke came back with a tattoo on his chest—I was mesmerized by that. He was a submariner.

Al was an electrician with the Sea Bees, building airstrips and other projects all over the Pacific.  Ben’s bronze star was for valor. The commendation hung in the living room in Bayonne. I used to stare at it and read it over and over.

Without America, the world today would be under the iron grip of the Nazis.  Ironically, we are now good friends with the Japanese and the Germans.

Ben died some years ago, but his wife, my Aunt Janice, is still alive and living in a senior community in Monroe Township. We’re taking her for lunch tomorrow, and I’m sure Uncle Ben will be mentioned.

On Veterans Day we all should take a moment to thank all vets including our allies in WWII and at other times such as the French during the Revolutionary War; and also those Americans who  served in other conflicts  before and after WWII

George Washington’s men suffered terribly.  They were farmers and store clerks. They crossed the Delaware in freezing weather. Some had no shoes as they stepped into the icy water. Many had no weapons but their fists.   But they routed the Hessians and preserved the chance for independence.

At the Monmouth County Historical Association in Freehold,  there is an oil painting depicting George Washington and his men at the battle of Monmouth. It is an amazing action-filled work and worth a visit there to see it.

The painter was the same artist who did the famous work about the crossing at the Delaware River, crossing from the Jersey side to Pennsylvania.

“Honor”  Main theme music from the HBO miniseries  The Pacific:

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