"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -George Orwell
On this Memorial Day, I would like to say "thank you" to the following people:
- My grandfather, Ivan Post, for serving in the first World War in France and survived a shell that landed 5 feet away and did not explode.
- My grandfather, Salvatore Faranda, for serving in the first World War.
- My second cousin, Tom Faranda, who gave his life on D-Day in the second World War.
- My father, Joseph S Faranda, who served in the second World War and Korea, where he earned a Bronze Star.
A quick note about my father: He worked himself as a soda jerk through Fordham in the Great Depression. One semester was so tough he decided to resign from school. He was flunking math and didn't feel he could catch up. In those days you didn't just drop out, you submitted a letter of resignation. Before he submitted it, he told his mother and she cried. Because it upset her so, he decided to wait before leaving school just yet.
Shortly thereafter, his math professor went to the drugstore where my dad worked after a date. When he saw my father behind the counter, he asked what he was doing there. My father explained that he worked there 6-12pm, 6 nights a week to pay the tuition. That professor gave him some help, and he ultimately passed and got his degree.
After graduation in 1942, the Army called. Because he was college graduate, my father was passed over for the infantry and put into the signal corps , where he did not see front line combat.
He always said that his mother's crying may well have saved his life.
Until he died in 1993, my father could not wake up without a violent start, as if he might open his eyes to a gun. I remember as a child hating to wake him up, and he was well into his 50's by then, decades after he came home.
War is hell, and those of us who enjoy the freedom to live our lives as we do owe the soldiers a debt of gratitude.
Thank you Dad, Cousin, and Grandfathers. You will never be forgotten.
Joseph Philip Faranda