Granddad, thank you for coming to my defense. I was not yet born; my dad was not born either.
I have a picture of you wearing your military uniform. Though you appear stoic; I cannot imagine the emotions you are feeling. You are heading into World War 1.
Leaving your family; would you return home? Your Great-grandfather immigrated here for a better life, would this be the end to your family line?
Through family stories, I know with a heavy heart, your mother held you tightly on route to the train station. She tearfully watched the departed train until it appeared to have never been on the track. Would this be the last time she would see you?
Everyday, she feared the worst.
Everyday, she fell into greater despair.
Everyday, she prayed for your safe return.
You did return home. On the outside you appeared unscathed, but how could you un-see what you had seen? How could you un-hear what you had heard? The war had taken its toll on you, as it did your mother.
You married and became a father to sixteen children. Your family tree grew, your sacrifice is deeply rooted in our memories.
We never met; you died in a car crash before I was born.
Thank you for coming to the defense of all of us.