Letter: Remembering family members' sacrifices
One hundred years ago, Lee Burrington marched off to the train station in Brattleboro, Vermont, to answer President Woodrow Wlison's call to "Make the World Safe for Democracy." Several old Union Army Veterans were there to see the boys off. Lee went off with a cigar in his mouth and a jaunty look on his face. He died with his face in the sun on October 22, 1918.
After the Armistice, my great-grandparents were looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving when they received notification of Lee's death. A kind bank stenographer wrote to my great-grandmother remembering that when she had purchased war bonds, she had said that she was poor but "I want to support my boys." Touched, he wrote that with mothers like her our country was in good hands and he said that when he was ready to sit down for his Thanksgiving dinner he would think of her and her loss.
Larry Groom fought in the assault at the North end of the Argonne Forest in what 1st Army Commander, Lt. General Hunter Liggett later wrote, "was the strongest short position I ever saw on the whole western front." A machine-gunner, Grandpa was gassed and involved in desperate hand-to-hand fighting which he could never forget. His French son was later killed when Hitler rolled over France.
While a small boy at Grandpa's funeral, I remember the sharp crack of the rifle salute, the lonely notes of Taps coming from a bugle and the solemn folding of the coffin flag. Today, I will remember Lee and Larry while praying for justice and God's peace.
Apopka, Florida, May 25
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