Memorial Day Ballgame Conversation


So I am watching the Nats play the Cards at their annual Memorial Day Ballgame (my birthday gift!).

The guy beside me strikes up a conversation about May birthdays. He’s a May baby too.

We start listing family members who have birthdays in May.

He tells me that today is his father’s birthday, that he would be 90 if he was still living.

I say my grandpa has passed away too.

“He served our country,” he says.

“Mine too,” I reply.

“Air Force,” he tells me.

CPS during World War II, I think.

But I don’t tell my neighbor that. He, like most Americans, has never heard of these forgotten heroes.

But I remember, Grandpa.

How your first born thought you a stranger because you only saw him briefly on furloughs.

How your brother died in an accident at another CPS camp.

How you put miles of fence posts in the ground, day after day, building a country rather than destroying one.

How you wrenched your back so badly that you had to have surgery and it pained you the rest of your life.

How they called you yellow at the factory when you came home.

They don’t remember.

But I do, Grandpa.

I remember.


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