Gramps was delighted to hear from Don Rosen about the factors that took hold after the end of WW-II in the lives of the heroes that ended the war. We are especially grateful to Don for his positive response when asked at the very last minute to speak at our July meeting after Navy Commander Hewlett had to cancel. Don agreed to speak with only a day’s notice and adjusted his schedule to make it happen.
Don is the son of a WW-II paratrooper who participated in the Normandy invasion on D-Day. He was always interested in the story but found that despite first-hand knowledge that many of the veterans were unwilling or unable to tell their stories. His father died when he was five years old. Don went to the 60 reunion of the the Normandy soldiers that took
place in 2004 in Normandy. He met many, learned much, and recognized the problems that some of the vets and their families had as a result of the experience.
He told of a Medal of Honor recipient whose daughter he met and learned much from. As a result of her father’s highly reserved personality, she felt that she did not really know him. He suffered from episodes of rage and war flashbacks. Although a Medal recipient, he had a high level of humility, and did not feel above other veterans. She later said that she
loved him very much despite the difficult life and not being able to please him and forgave him for how he was.
He describes this as the Achilles Heel of the “Greatest Generation”.
Many were critical, arro gan t and condescending to others, especially their children. This p r o d u c ed a generation of kids, many of whom rejected the values of their fathers and rebelled against them.
We thank Don for his attention to this unfortunate result of the war and bringing it to the attention of people so that the emotional separation can be remedied now that it is recognized. This will doubtless result in a great deal of love and forgiveness now. Don has written a book, “Reckoning in Normandy” which he had available at the meeting and igned. He is also working on another book that will be out shortly and he will return to Gramps at that time to present the story therein. We also hope to see him at our meetings.