Today is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. The Polish Forces under General Władysław Anders finally succeeded in taking the mountain topped by a monastery. One thousand fifty two Polish soldiers died in the battle.
They asked, "What do we eat?" The answer was similar, "There are rabbits." Yet somehow a few survived. His brother, who was 3 when he was taken, was "too young to live." His father also died before making it to freedom.
Yet my uncle and his mother, who married my widowed grandfather, did. And my uncle then joined the General Anders army, even though he was under aged. He stayed in the British army after the war and was in one of the last units to leave Palestine before it became Israel. He later was sent to Korea. Meanwhile his mother came to the US via Mexico. He then left the British army to join the American army, spending additional time in Korea, and then going on to teach at the Monterey language school.
Still a young man, he used his GI bill benefits to complete his education and became an electrical engineer.
He and my mother were close until her untimely death. She always loved poppies. We had hundreds in our yard.