“Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it

I’ve been listening to Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy, a magesterial history of the United States Army in Europe during World War II. This history is gripping, often painful, filled with courage, extreme violence, many fiascos and defeats along the path to ultimate victory. Driving my daughter to a college event today, I happened to encounter the gravestones below. “Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it.




Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on ““Thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it”

  1. You are right of course, no thanks can ever be enough, and the moment to give it personally is fading into history (I think a half million WWII vets will pass away this year)

  2. My brother was able to take our father on an honor flight from California to the World War II Memorial last spring. I’m glad Dad got to go. I’m glad my brother went with him. I only wish the timing had been just a bit later, so my son (now stationed in D.C.) could have met them at the Monument, in uniform.

    My dad and both his brothers served. Dad is the last of them with us. No thanks is enough, but we do what we can.

  3. Indeed.

    Seeing the American Cemetery in Normandy is also an incredibly moving experience and a reminder of how much we owe.

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