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Old Cowbelle: Remember

Memorial Day -- a time set aside for remembering. The emphasis is on the heroes of the military, those who gave their all, some even their lives, defending us and our country. And for those veterans who died at a much later date.

But it is also a time for remembering all of our loved ones who have gone on ahead and now live on only in our hearts....and in the heavenly mansions. Cemeteries burst forth with flowers lovingly placed there.

Way, way back, when my two brothers were serving in the Navy, one of them, Bob, hadn't been heard from for over a year. No calls, no letters, nothing.

V-J Day (Victory in Japan) had come and gone. Although my parents had not been notified of his missing, hope was growing dim. How they must have worried.

During that time, my Mom wrote the following. I don't know if it ever appeared any newspaper or anywhere, but it reveals her heartache of the time.

The End?

"The war is over!" or so they say.

The joy and tumult of V-J Day

has stilled. The bells ring clear,

telling the war-weary souls who hear

"We are finished with blood and horror and tears,

with filth and sweat and blinding fears,

with mud and stench, hunger and pain!

Our lives will be bright and free again!

Our tears will be blotted, our worries cast,

the shadow of Death and parting past!"

Drink up and shout! Don't weep and sigh!

Laugh and sing! Give thanks of High!

The war is over!!. But is it for me?

As long as my boy is fighting the sea?

--Lillian Olson, 1940's.


Bob did return home. His ship docked in Newport News, Va., where he received his discharge from the Navy. He bought a Harley Davidson cycle, drove it home on the highway to Spring Valley. What a joyous reunion.

His only injury from the war in the South Pacific (besides the emotional scars of war) was the loss of one finger during a typhoon at sea.

He later married Maxine (Salaway) had four beautiful children and became grandfather of eight.