• Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I specifically remember one special day after my father had returned home from World War II. I remember asking him one very important question, “Did you ever kill anyone when you fought in the war?” My father assured me that he hadn’t. He told me many things, but the one fact I remember the most was the story about the bomb that wounded his legs. I could feel and see how this war had changed our lives, especially my father’s. He told me so many horrible stories about the war, the kind of stories one cannot ever forget. One day in the spring of 1951, my father and I stood shoulder to shoulder planting tomatoes on our farm. The ground was covered by strong weeds. My father taught me that in order to get rid of the weeds we must bury them very deep.

My father and I spent most of our day working and talking about the events and the atrocities he witnessed in World War II. He made it clear to me that if he ever had to go to war again he would rather die than go. Although I was only twelve years

old, I was able to sense his fear and pain. I was feeling a similar pain in. my heart as I waited for three long years for my father to come back home.

Out of curiosity, I asked my father, “Are these weeds covering our farm similar to the terrible history you have been telling me about?” He did not answer my question. A few minutes later, he stopped working and placed his hand on my shoulder. I could see there were tears in his eyes. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Seven years ago, when I was a soldier in World War II, I buried a young boy who was not much older than you. Don’t ask me why now. I will tell you later.” We continued to work and talk. A few hours later we heard the church bells of our town ringing and those of the nearby towns. That was a signal to stop working. We took our hats off, crossed ourselves and sat down by our old barn where we ate some dry figs and bread for lunch.

After we finished eating, my father began to talk slowly again. “Seven years ago, I was in the war. I had a partner who was fifteen years old. He “was not much taller than you. One day our enemy sprung an attack. My young, inexperienced partner stood thirty feet from me. I knew that he didn’t know what to do to shelter himself from the bomb and the flying shrapnel, so I called him to come over to where I stood to be safe. He listened and we switched places. A second later a bomb fell and exploded. When I regained consciousness, I realized I was lying in a pool of blood. When I tried to get up, I couldn’t move. Both of my legs were badly wounded. I looked over to see where my partner took shelter, but all I could see was a huge, deep hole, the hole where the bomb had struck. Within hours of this terrible event, the enemy paid us a visit to make sure
there were no survivors. God once again helped me. They passed me right up because they thought I was dead. It took me two days to crawl over to my young partner’s body, only to find out that he was dead. What was I to do but bury his body in that same shelter hole I had dug up much earlier, thinking it was going to be a safe haven. I blamed myself for his death.”
At this point, 1 was very anxious to find out how my father was able to survive, since he was so badly wounded and could barely walk, so I asked him. “It took me a week to drag myself and find a hiding place. I finally found a barn and was able to hide in a huge mass of hay. Once again, God spared my life. The owner of this barn was a woman who lived close by. She had a pig and she fed it three times a day. The food she gave her pig was the food I ate as well. I ate one half and left the rest for her pig, ”Although the food was meant for the pig, I enjoyed the three meals I got. It kept me alive. After four and a half months, I was able to get back on my feet. One day, I waited for the young lady so that I could thank her for saving my life. When she first saw me she was afraid of me, then I told her my story. She soon understood that she was my savior and offered me food and shelter. I continued living on her farm for another six months and was “well aware of the miracle that saved my life.”

During the short time I spent with my father after he returned from the war, I learned many more crucial lessons about history and life than any history book could have ever taught me. World War II took and destroyed many innocent lives, young and old. The events of World War II should never be forgotten. After close and careful examination, they should be buried with their heads deep down, just as we buried the harmful weeds on our farm. It makes me very sad to see what poor farmers we are. Our past history has been composed of many tragic and unfortunate events. Shouldn’t we strive to work more diligently to assure that similar events do not ever reenter our lives?

Category: Current Writings
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