On December 6, 2013 my sister Janet Katic, Cousin JeanMarie Jacob and I were fortunate enough and had the honor to be at the dedication of the long overdue World War II Memorial for all the veterans who gave their lives during the war, after the war, and to those who are still with us.
The memorial was the dream of the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Organization. Through the sale of calendars over a number of years, corporate donations and public donations they obtained the necessary funds to build a memorial on the North Shore.
On the day of the dedication there were hundreds of World War II veterans. I was taken back realizing that the majority of these veterans were in their nineties. The majority were so joyous of the recognition and still very active in their private lives.
Sharp witted and readily available to talk about the war as if they just came home. They still held their military manners and decorum while the ceremony proceeded. I was in awe being with all these veterans both men and women.
It wasn’t until after the ceremony and a few days later that I could put my emotions into the following words;
BEFORE ANOTHER ONE LEAVES
Before another one leaves us, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the greatest generations. I want to thank the parents and grandparents who are still among us who rose the “boomer generation”.
We have been blessed with gifts that no one else has received since. I appreciate beyond comprehension the ability to:
Say: Please, Excuse Me, Thank you, Yes Sir, No Mame, I am sorry, I lost the game.
Can: Make Decisions, Stand By my decisions, Change my mind with no guilt, Admit I am wrong, Walk to my own beat, Lead not follow. Still Laugh at the Simplest Jokes, Enjoy Board Games, and Enjoy Life in a simple manner.
Do: Hard Work, Make Do With What I Got, Stretch a Dollar.
You raised me to appreciate everything and not to take anything for granted. I treasure each moment of each day. Every time we get together I feel so rich knowing that I am with the greatest treasures I will ever have.
Thank you for instilling these values into me long ago.
Thank you for the sacrifices you endured so I along with all of America can live. You gave so much of yourself and yet the acknowledgement can never equate the sacrifice. The best we can do is bless you and respect you more than anything else.
You are the greatest generations to ever live.
Daughter of Serviceman John “Barney” Bittner 1922-1975
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