By Willie Lagarde
It was at a reunion twenty something years ago when gun crew mate Eddie and I were on Yorktown’s bridge looking down on a flight deck we no longer recognized. I remained silent while he fielded questions from a British tourist with an inquisitive mind. I wondered, whether he and I really were on the same gun and same ship, I couldn't believe how inaccurate or completely erroneous his recollections were. Finally when he began telling this lovely lady how good we ate and I could see he wasn’t joking I had to step in. Eddie wasn’t happy about it but the ensuing conversation alone was worth the trip to Patriots Point. The woman had as much class as my beautiful Annabel Lee and when I learned her husband, who up to now had said nothing, served with Monty and the British 8th Army I had questions for him, many questions. Reluctant to answer at first, at my invitation we retired to the hospitality room. Over a few drinks, me beer, he scotch and she wine I not only walked with him in the Libyan desert and heard names again like Tobruk and EI Alamein but listened to this very attractive lady with her beautiful accent give first hand accounts of life on the home front during the London blitz. I was wishing I had a tape recorder but later realized if I had one they would have said nothing. The Brits of those years committed to a war when their country wasn't immediately threatened. But they knew it was just a matter of time and what folly it would be to wait while a threat to their way of life grew stronger and unstoppable. This threat was only a few years away from developing ICBM’s possibly with nuclear war heads and was determined to dominate the world. It was their plan to exterminate millions to “cleanse” races and ethnicities The British held the line, sacrificing their cities and the lives of over fifty thousand of their citizens buying time for our workers and farmers to transform what had been a third rate military power into the most powerful war machine the world has ever known.
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