You see, 8 a.m. coffee at the Senior Center is a chance for the surviving WWII veterans in our community to gather. They met for years at Fairfax Hardware on Main Street. After that closed, they moved their morning coffee to the Senior Center, which is housed at the old Green Acres Elementary. I knocked on the door of such a veteran last week and he kindly invited me to visit.
In the heat of a campaign, you sometimes feel like your life is on the line. It’s not. However, if you were flying a B-24 Liberator on a low-level bombing mission over the Rhine in 1945, then your life was on the line.
This morning, I had coffee with a former Army pilot who described that experience, as well as a member of the famed “Seabees” that built airfields in the Pacific. I also met a man who arrived in Germany as an infantry replacement in May 1945. The next day the Germans surrendered. As he described it: “they heard I was coming and they threw up their hands!”
There were a dozen men there. They shared a life-changing experience whose significance contrasts with all the exaggerated hysteria from the last days of an election. I’m glad I had a chance to visit with them.