Monday, February 22, 2010

The Death of a Hero

I just received the news. A hero has passed on…quietly and modestly, as he lived, a believer in God. A hero for us all.

Early on the morning of June 6, 1944 Roberto Martinez, a paratrooper from the 101st Airborne Division, with painted black marks under his eyes, climbed aboard a plane in England. In the dark morning as the airplane took him over the English Channel and into Normandy the Germans opened fire. “It was like Christmas with lights all over the place,” he said. The airplane kept flying until the men jumped out, one after another after another after another. Finally, it was Roberto’s turn.

“I tried to hide my parachute after I jumped. Everything was dark because they dropped us in the early hours and before the landings were to begin. I couldn’t find my cricket, that funny sounding thing that was to be used by the paratroopers to signal one another, but someone approached me and I heard his cricket.”

The invasion of France had just begun. Roberto Martinez along with all the other thousands of Americans began their heroic effort. And now his life’s journey has ended. May he and all the other heroes who kept this country safe from dictators not be forgotten.

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