My grandfather had to learn English hard and fast in his one-room school just to keep up, and he wasn't alone. His little country school had a smattering of immigrants and they all learned each others languages on the playground. Like the others, his parents had come to America on "the boat" and since, had learned hardly a word of our country's tongue. Which became even more evident in my grandfather's teen years when he was scouted and almost drafted to the pro baseball leagues because of his skill, yet the scout was chased off of their small farm because his Slovak speaking father wasn't about to let anyone "buy" his son. A few years later, at 21, my grandfather was drafted into World War II, and his life changed.
He brought home stories and back trouble, and mostly, a tender heart for people and love for this great country he fought for.
Though he's no longer with us, his words live on in his own autobiography...
"During the Battle of the Bulge days our general said; 'the Nazi will not surrender.' Well, at this time it was cold, real cold, and we just had those little sleeping bags, but we weren’t cold. Why? Because we were sweating and I believe it was fear more than anything else, fear and we’re away from home."
For all those who gave their lives and devoted their all to make this country a free nation that we can call home, thank you. We remember and cherish you.
Hope everyone had a blessed and Happy Memorial Day.