My grandfather, Frank Nolan, lied about his age so he could be old enough to enlist in the U.S. Navy and fight in WWII and the Korean War. He was deeply patriotic and a true hero. As part of the “Greatest Generation”, it was natural for him to want to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the American way of life. Many, even Americans, try to tear down, disparage and minimize our greatness, but as long as there is breath in my lungs, my voice will drown theirs out!
Our country, as flawed as it has been from the start, presented to the world a beacon of hope in democracy, capitalism and freedom from tyranny in a way the entire world throughout all of human history had never seen. Perfect? No. Still superior to anything else in the world? Absolutely. God-given? Yes. Blessed? Yes. And it is worth fighting for, and even dying for.
My grandfather died in January 2018, warm in his bed, at the age of 91. One of the last things he ever said to me was what a beautiful life he’d lived and how grateful he was for what God had given him. He was a proud and unapologetic American, as am I.
What can we do in return? REMEMBER. Today is Memorial Day, for those soldiers who have fought and died. (Veterans Day, in November, is for those servicemen who are still living.) America must never forget. We must shed tears, we must have parades, we must set out pictures, we must talk about it at the dinner table and we must speak louder than those who try to speak against us, and we must keep memories alive. We must inspire future generations to love our great country, and be willing to let them go and fight… and, yes, die when necessary. God bless you, and God bless America.
I LOVE YOU, GRANDPA. I WILL NEVER FORGET.