Article about: Hello! I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day. I found this photo online and I thought you ladies and gentlemen would greatly appreciate it! chive-memoria
when i lived in Berlin, i was attached to National Security Agency. sometimes i wore a uniform but usually not.
i remember several times over my stay there being approached by elderly Germans (always when i was in uniform this would happen) who wanted to know whether i would step into a bar and have a drink on them. the first time this happened, i couldn't imagine why a complete stranger would be offering me this. call me stupid. and the first time i tried to decline the offer (unsuccessfully). once inside, i was brought the beer and i sat with the gentleman who proceeded to thank me for liberating Germany from Hitler. he was pretty emotional about this. i was 20 years old at the time and this was 1983.
i told him that i really didn't have anything to do with it and he didn't really need to thank me for it. he then told me that it wasn't me personally. he told me that i was, by being there and by my service, good enough for what he felt was an expression of thanks that could not be given enough. for him, i was symbolic.
this happened during years of anti-American (and Reagan) protests in Berlin where "Amis Raus!" (yanks out!) was the slogan of the day among those younger protesters.
we talked for a time and he thanked me for listening when we parted ways. i will never forget that.
over the course of 6 years this sort of thing, or something close to it, happened several times. those subsequent occasions i stopped whatever i was doing or going wherever i was going and enjoyed good beer, good company, and good stories from Germans who remembered how it was and were grateful to have gotten through it to see the Germany you see today.
i don't recall ever getting into any kind of trouble for being late to any meetings or work because of this, but if i had, i wouldn't have cared.
I spent part of today visiting relatives in cemeteries, and i will go visit my other Grandfather Robert Basore tomorrow as i have relatives in 5 different local cemeteries.
My Great Uncle Robert Drew - US Army 63rd Infantry Division (Blood And Fire). My Grandmother claims that he said he was involved in the liberation of KZ Dachau, but he refused to talk about anything further than that. PICT0031.jpg
My Great Grandfather Osmer Eix - US National Guard (post ww1) PICT0042.jpg
My Grandfather Osmer Eix Jr. - US Marine Corps Reserve PICT0041.jpg