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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Historical Inheritance

So I like posting historical tidbits on this blog that catch my attention.  I thought today I would post some of my personal history, or rather my family's.  I have grandfathers on both sides of my family that fought in World War II.  One of them is still alive and kickin.' (Love you, Grandpa!)  There are some great stories that come out of these two men's experience, and I thought I'd share one today.

My Grandpa Hill fought all over the place during his tours of duty.  One of the things he did in France was what was known as the forward artillery scout.  It was one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.  Something like three out of four scouts never returned (don't quote me on that statistic, though).  What this meant was that he and others who held the same post went forward, behind enemy lines, to scout out where the heavy artillery would be.  Then they would return and report to their commanders.  This was so that when the main force of the US army attacked, they'd know where the enemy bullets were coming from.

My grandfather performed this task at Normandy.  Hours before the marines stormed the beaches, in the dark of pre-dawn, he sneaked behind enemy lines to gather intelligence on the position of the enemy's weapons.  Not only did he return and report, but later that morning he stormed the beaches with his brother marines and lived to tell about that, too.

He returned home to his two little boys, has been married three times, and I am the third (I think) of a whole gaggle of great-grandchildren.  What a remarkable man!  I love to think about the fact that so many of our recent relatives did so much to help shape history and the destiny of our country!

While I love to learn ancient history, classical history, U.S. History, and--my personal favorite--medieval history, sometimes the most important history we have is much closer to us.    Remember, knowledge of our history is our heritage.  What we do with that knowledge may shape our destinies.  Let us never forget the brave men and women who have shaped our nation's history throughout all the decades since the Constitution was inked.  For they have effected us all more than we could ever conceive of.


  1. This is so interesting. I didn't know this about Grandpa Hill. Thanks for writing about it.

  2. Grandpa is the man!! Thanks for sharing Liesel!