Today, at Super One Foods in Lakeside, there was an older guy wearing a Marines cap, so I asked him where he served. He said sixty years ago on this day in Korea, December of ’51, they had been in their bunker, which was warmed by an oil stove. Someone mistakenly threw gas on it, and everything went up in a blaze, his Christmas presents under his cot, his camera, some guys died. Another “even got a silver heart.” Probably for running back into the fire to save people.
So when I walk by these modest, quiet homes, and wonder who lives there, I’ll know many of them are old-time Duluthians who served their country in wars people easily forgot. And while I may be angered by the hypocrisy, failure of diplomacy, fear or greed that may cause them, I am equally amazed and humbled by the courage and selflessness of those who serve. Sometimes they just want their stories to be heard.