Grandpa Roland, USMC
I never met my grandfather, Roland Davis, who died when my own father was 6 years old. In fact, my family tree had a spooky history of firstborn sons whose father's died when their oldest son was 6. My own Dad breathed a sign of relief on my 7th birthday.
Grandpa Roland lived for me as a photograph of a handsome man in a golden frame. There were the medals he earned in France from the First World War. Not only American medals, but medals from the French as well. And a German dagger he'd confiscated from a German he'd captured. These mementos have a place of honor in my folks' home.
I have a brick wall in my own home, hung with the photos of friends and family that have passed on. Just like my "in memorium" photo set on flickr, I believe that the stories of our history help us to know ourselves. I want my children to remember their ancestors, and to understand where they came from, and the struggles and victories these people endured. And I believe, that though they may be gone, they continue to live--not only in the photos and in the stories they tell, but in the faces of the current crop of youngsters growing up all around me. I'm always pleased when I hear someone point to a photo on the wall and say--'oh, so-and-so looks just like ol' what's-his-name, doesn't he?"