Today, I am taking the opportunity to pay my respects to the veterans out there. Despite the fact that Veterans’ Day was actually yesterday, here in Washington, DC, we’re still celebrating.
Before I started writing romance novels, I took a year and a half to write the story of an amazing group of men who found song and dance in the middle of France in the summer of 1944. Still a work in progress, this interesting story motivated me to get up every morning to learn more about a time when the world and humanity were threatened in a very serious way. And when boys and men much younger than even I am now went off to fight and die for their country.
If you’re interested in doing some more reading or learning about World War II, I suggest you check out Ken Burns’ documentary: The War. His classic storytelling brings to life characters who lived across the country and fought and died across the world. You can also read the columns of Ernie Pyle, embedded reporter who lost his life in the line of battle. He captured the thoughts and feelings of the boys and men fighting:
Once, during a lull long after midnight, half a dozen of the boys in our gun pit started singing softly. Their voices were excellent. Very low and sweetly they sang in perfect harmony such songs as “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” and “Tipperary.” There wasn’t anything forced or dramatic about it. It was just some young fellows singing because they liked to sing – and the fact that they were in a gun pit in France shooting at people, trying to kill them, was just a circumstance.
From Brave Men
Or you can read fictional accounts written much later, by brilliant authors whose words tug at your heart and show the picture of life at home. Two I read included The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford about young love between a Japanese-American girl and Chinese-American boy in Seattle, Washington, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows about a group of people living on Guernsey during the German occupation.
And while World War II will always hold a special place in my heart, and has always fascinated my brain, we should not forget the veterans of the more recent wars who live among us. The friends, family members, and people who continue to stand on the line and defend our country. For their sacrifice, they deserve our gratitude.
So a deeply heartfelt thank you to all veterans today and always.