Magazine article America in WWII

Three Sticks

Magazine article America in WWII

Three Sticks

Article excerpt

TWO YEARS AGO I visited the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. The monument was full of people that day. As I stepped into the plaza, I saw a veteran in a wheelchair. I myself am a veteran, so I saluted him. He saluted back, albeit feebly. I walked over, knelt by him, and thanked him for his service. He smiled and said "You're welcome" with a nod.

He was wearing a cap with the words "Bastogne Veteran" on it. I knew about the tough Siege of Bastogne in December 1944. The question I asked him about it seemed strange, but his answer would forever change me. "How cold was it for you?" I asked. He looked at me, but in his mind saw a memory that must have been locked away in a place where people put things they really don't want to remember. And with that memory came his reply: "Three sticks."

I asked him what that meant, and he began his story. "The sound of battle was awful, just awful. …

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