Friday, June 25, 2010

Requiem for Swede

Time is a jet plane
It moves too fast...

I awakened this morning to the crowing of a rooster and I knew I was at my sister's place in Whitehall, where just a few weeks ago we gathered as a family on Memorial Day to remember those who serve in the military, of course, but more importantly to celebrate the bond of family.

And today we bury a dear family member and a true hero. Uncle Swede, who enjoyed that glorious recent afternoon with the rest of us, left quite suddenly the other day after suffering a heart attack.  He was famously stubborn to the end, refusing to be taken to the hospital by ambulance which allowed him to spend his final lucid minutes with Aunt Iva, who apparently is quite a driver.

Swede will have a proper military burial today, as you would expect for a man who served in Europe during World War II and returned with the sword of a German officer.  They found that sword in the garage this week, along with a German helmet, which reminded us again the monumental task these men faced. How sweet were the spoils of victory?  My uncle never said.

Swede also came home with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.  He never talked about those, either. Our real heroes, even after so many years, leave us too soon, leave us to wonder...


  1. RIP, Uncle Swede.
    A noble, heroic and important generation is slipping away ...

  2. Hat's off to Uncle Swede, a true hero who served his country, survived to recieve a purple heart, and a bronze star, what an honor, what a guy!
    Loved his t-shirt in picture "Freedom isn't Free"
    Everyone in America needs to remember that!!!!!!
    I am proud to say my grandson joined the National Guard, and leaves Monday forhis basic training in Ft Benning GA, only just a young man, 18, but he is proud to be serving his country. Life is short, and many of those young men never make it home in a war.
    Sorry for your loss.....

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  4. Sorry about your Uncle. I'm glad you got to see him a few weeks ago.

  5. A proud, touching tribute to your uncle... Beautiful thoughts.