Sunday, April 12, 2015

Appreciating sacrifice

Gene Cogan, 92, was only 21 when he was wounded while storming Omaha Beach on D-Day. "The night before," he recalls, "the captain pulled us on deck and told everyone to write a letter home. 'For some of you,' he said, 'it will be your last.'" Cogan does not think anyone was fully prepared for the next morning. "The ships got us in close to the beach at about 5:30 a.m. A machine gun opened up and I dove into the water. Cannons lit up the sky." As he reached the water's edge, he saw French townspeople huddled in caves near the beach for safety. Soldiers were falling all around him. He was wounded first in the arm, then the shoulder and then the hip before he fell on the bloody sand surrounded by dead bodies, where he lay until the next day, when a squad leader collecting dog tags from corpses found him alive. He was honorably discharged after a year-long hospital stay, and awarded the Purple Heart. France honored him with the Croix de Guerre (Cross of War). He returned home to a marriage which lasted 52 years, and a 25 year career as a school teacher, principal and basketball coach. Because of his experience, he respects what young soldiers achieve today.

As if remembering Gene Cogan's sacrifice, a reader in Indianapolis sent the one-minute video linked below. Food City is a southern grocery store chain with headquarters in Bristol, TN. This is their 60-second commercial. Not a word is spoken, and none are needed. Very few commercials deserve to go viral, but this one does. Gene Cogan would understand it. I know you will too.

No comments:

Post a Comment