Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans Day

I meant to mark Veterans Day yesterday by posting an excerpt from the stories my Grandpa Don wrote down before he died. He was a Marine guarding the US Embassy in Beijing in the 1930s, and was the night guard on duty there who first saw the flash of gunfire in the distance when the Japanese invaded. He had some amazing stories, and many photos to go with them…but of course all of that stuff is in storage right now and I couldn't get to it. When I can, I think I might start posting some of his stories, maybe once a week. After he got back from China, he tried selling vacuums in Seattle, but the depression made that just about impossible – so he hopped a fishing boat and homesteaded in Alaska, before joining up with the Navy and constructing the base at Sitka. He would go on to build a big chicken farm on Vashon Island, a bunch of houses, cattle ranches and a bull test in Ellensburg, Moses Lake, and Whidbey Island, and…anyway, the stories go on and on. More on that later.

For now, here's a photo of our President-elect from the Times this morning. This struck me as an extraordinarily quiet, moving image.

President-elect Barack Obama marked Veterans Day by laying a wreath at the Bronze Soldiers Memorial in Chicago. He was joined by Tammy Duckworth, Illinois’s director of veterans’ affairs, who served in the war in Iraq and lost both of her legs there.

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