The Band Plays On

Silhouette of a soldier against the sun.

Landing onto a Life

Some seventy years ago, Jim “Pee Wee” Martin was one of the “Band of Brothers,” a short, young kid in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division, floating down onto Normandy Beach in northern France, into Hell, into history. Not only did he live to tell about it: he lived to do so on Facebook, of all things.  Take a look at “A WWII Veteran Shares His Stories in Person, Via Social Media.”

A lot happens in seventy years. Radio turns into television, turns into VHS, turns into YouTube, and before you know it, you rely on Mark Zuckerberg more than you rely on your friendly, neighborhood postman.

And just as much as #WeAreAllParis, we find ourselves saying, #WirSindAlleParis.

So in seventy years a life is lived, a life of someone whose friends lost theirs somewhere miles/kilometers north of Paris, not far from the American cemetery where my father’s eldest brother was buried before his twentieth birthday, a second lieutenant from Des Moines who would never shoot hoops with the boys from North High School again.

Both aimed to do their part to create a world where life could be lived as freely as possible. One made it. One didn’t.

Some still struggle to live freely in this world that these young men sought to preserve for us. Some have found freedoms they never dared even dream of. But in Ohio, USA, a young man grew slowly, ever slowly into an old man who still remembers.

And probably can teach Mark Zuckerberg—and me—a thing or two.

Reach out to others. Tell the stories you can. Live life by touching other lives.

There’s no other way for War to end, whether or not wars ever do.

Merci, Monsieur Martin.  Danke.  Thank you.

Until tomorrow, be well,


If you’d like, please check out Mr. Martin’s Facebook Page

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: