Battle of the Bulge (Army)
As we prepare for Christmas, celebrate Hanukkah, and revel in the warmth of the holidays, we must never forget those who are far from home, defending us. And we should remember that, although this is a time to relax and enjoy our families, history is full of reminders that our uniformed forces don’t always enjoy the same privileges.
In 1773 the Sons of Liberty, dressed as Narragansett Indians, dumped 45 tons of tea into Boston Harbor (Dec 16) (Wikipedia).
In 1862 the Battle of Fredricksburg began, resulting in the loss of 18000 Union and Confederate soldiers (Dec 11-15) (Shotgun’s Home of the Civil War).
In 1915 the British began evacuation at Galipoli (Dec 15) (History Channel)
In 1944 Germany began its Ardennes offensive, known to us as the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16) (History Channel).
In 1950 Allied forces completed withdrawal through the port city of Hungnam, ending the brutal battle of Chosin Reservoir (Dec 11) (KoreanWar.com).
Throughout our history, men and women in uniform have had to shrug off thoughts of home and the holidays to fight in desperate battles to defend the very things for which they pined. Many would never see another Christmas, or Hanukkah, or holiday season again.
But because of them, we will. During these days of inspiration and joy, take some time to remember those who aren’t with us. Send them a card if you can, or visit our wounded soldiers in military hospitals, or stop by the nearest VA hospital and shake some hands.
I was on a plane a few years ago and helped an elderly gentleman to his seat. He was limping and I asked how he hurt his leg. “Oh, it was in Europe.” “When,” I asked. “December, 1944,” he said. “You were injured in the Battle of the Bulge?”
He shrugged and said, “Yeah,” following with the familiar phrase we have heard so many times, “We were just doing our job.”
Thank you, veterans, and thank you Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen for what we have. You gave (and give) much more than you ever received. You are our heroes of the week.