Thank you for your service

Andrew Pellerito

I’m grateful for those who serve. Both my Grampas were WWII veterans. Grampa Tony served on the European front and Grampa Delmar was wounded at the Pearl Harbor attack. I have several Uncles who served in wartime as well as peacetime and multiple family members who were home worrying for them and sending their love.

I remember my Grampa Tony telling me about his cousin Andrew, whom he had assumed washed out to sea. Andrew was a Corporal in the Marines, one of the 514 missing during the Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific. Andrew’s name is still etched at the downtown Grand Rapids memorial. Andrew never met my Dad as he was already serving when Dad was born in Grand Rapids. Andrew’s death was November 20th, 1943, his body never made it back to Michigan.

It is now over 75 years. I only heard of Andrew 15 years ago and saw his name etched in the downtown WWII memorial. Today is the first day I actually saw his face in the attached photo. And yet… while he is a distant relative of mine, Andrew was somebody’s son, brother, cousin. I wonder what his close family and friends experienced when hearing the news. It’s a reminder that every time we hear of a soldier’s passing, there is a family who is immediately impacted as well.

Wherever your stand on politics, the military, international affairs — I hope we can always show our appreciation to those who raise their hand, sign the paperwork, and volunteer their service. I hope we will always recognize the sacrifice many have made.

Read more about Andrew here:

As we remember our veterans, let us also be asking key questions of ourselves and our country:

How did I get here? What do I remember? Why?

What needs to be remembered? What should be forgotten?

Many times we hear the phrase Never forget…. Never forget what?

What do I want passed on? What do I want for future generations?

How can we best serve those who serve(d)?

Credit for some of these questions — Kent Dobson’s podcast: Hints and Guesses Episode 31

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