Sunday, May 25, 2008

Heroes

Rudolph P. Vitali

My father landed on the beaches in Normandy in June 1944. He was a nineteen year old American GI who along with his fellow soldiers were over seas fighting in a great crusade. He had never traveled more than 50 miles from home and suddenly found himself on foreign soil. In the following eight months after the landing on Utah Beach he would fight in and survive the battles of St. Lo', Argentan, and The Battle of the Bulge. At one point in time he would end up in a field hospital being treated for wounds and illness. While there, he came across two of his friends from his home town of Chisholm. They were also being treated for wounds. What are the chances of three guys, from the same town, ending up in the same field hospital in middle of France?

On his way across France he would march through the streets of Paris and then meet a young French woman, Anne Blazier, in the tiny French village of Rohrbach-les' Bitche, and it was there that they would fall in love. After the Battle of the Bulge and the final
push into Nazi Germany he returned to her village. When the war ended he re-enlisted and stayed with the occupation forces to help rebuild and restore a sense of normalcy.
They married in October of 1945, shortly after the war ended and they would remain in France until 1949. They came back to the US after the birth of my oldest sister Rose Marie.
After a brief stay in the state Virginia they came home to northern Minnesota. Here they quietly raised their family and spent the remainder of their days.

Neither of them speak much of the war. My Mother's family endured a great deal of pain and suffering through two world wars. My father lost many of his friends in the push across Europe, and as stated earlier, speaks very little of his experiences.

Neither my Mother nor my Father will read this. They are, shall we say, out of the technological loop. I have the greatest amount of respect for them. They taught me much and it's their care, concern, and love that have gotten me and my siblings to where we are today. My Father and my Mother have always been my heroes. I could not have asked for better role models and teachers. Learning was painful at times, but that's what it's all about. Thank you Mom for all you have done to make my life what it is and thank you Dad for doing what you felt you had to do. You served our country proudly and I couldn't ask for two better HEROES.
All My Love!

2 comments:

Kenny said...

I had no idea how your parents met or that he was one of the brave men on the beach. Those soldiers have always been my heroes. Some day I want to go to France and go to one of the cemetaries where the soldiers are buried so I can cry.

Petite Chèvre said...

Great post! My dad was a WWII vet who was taken from us too soon. He was and still is my hero.

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