On a June afternoon in 1944, Sgt. Rudolph Hardwick loaded his gear and parachuted behind enemy lines in Normandy, France. Rudy’s parachute silently descended – his figure cutting dark across the gray morning sky. As his landing zone approached him from below, the sights and sounds of the world beneath his feet swirled against the whipped-wind silence of an aerial descent. Rudy’s boots struck ground beyond the beachhead battles and machine gun turrets carved into the bluffs of the french coastline – those fiery bluffs and our relentless march to claim them – remain even today an iconic tale of American service and heroism. Here was Rudy Hardwick, almost a century of life ahead of him, landing squarely behind enemy lines. In Normandy. On D-Day.
That’s how many individual American veterans of World War II are alive today in Georgia. If that sounds like a lot, it’s not. Especially when considering that more than 500 WW2 veterans pass every day. Check out this graph from the National World War II Museum outlining the decline in veteran numbers.
A Turning Page
This Veterans day, it’s our sincere hope that you’ll spend a moment in gratitude for The Greatest Generation. Today, we see the veterans of WW2, Korea and Vietnam each age into increased care-giving in pursuit of a sustained quality of life. As their children, caregivers, support teams and biggest fans, we need only to reflect on the storming of a beachhead in France, – or the rolled sleeves of a wife whose days were spent building planes for the war effort, – to recall that our veterans of foreign wars, our Greatest Generations, our soldiers and our military families have battled tirelessly for this better future, and all the better futures that await us.
Thank you, veterans of foreign wars, for making today possible. Happy veterans day!