Memorial Day is so much more than a three-day weekend. It is a time to pause, remember and reflect upon stories like the ones below by June Wandrey Mann.
June was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and who served in Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany from 1942 to 1946.
Author of Bedpan Commando; she once wrote “Working in the shock wards, giving transfusions, was a rewarding but sad experience. Many wounded soldiers’ faces still haunt my memory.”
Her recollection of an experience in August 1943 while serving in Sicily is especially poignant.
“An eighteen-year-old boy is carried into the shock ward, and he looks up at me trustingly asking, “How am I doing, nurse?” I just kiss his forehead and say, “You are doing just fine soldier.” He smiles sweetly and says, “I was just checking,” Then he dies. We all cry in private. But not in front of the boys. Never in front of the boys.”
With all due respect to Nurse Mann who was a member of the greatest generation, I suggest that sometime this coming Memorial Day weekend and every Memorial Day weekend, it is OK to cry over this in remembrance … in private, in front of others or both.