Sunday, May 29, 2016

In Memory of Those Who Gave All

In my family tree we have quite a few veterans. Probably even some I have not confirmed as having served. The veterans outnumber the fallen, but on this Memorial Day, when we honor the fallen, I would like to mention a couple from my mothers branch of the family tree who did make the ultimate sacrifice during war.

Although he is listed in the letter above as Paul Gilbert, his name was really Paul Davis. After GGrandma Ada Samis Gilbert died, GGrampa Roy married her sister Delia whose husband had died. Her son Paul enlisted as Gilbert instead of Davis, honoring GGrampa but also causing me great difficulty finding military information on him. As you can read, he died during World War II, on October 18, 1944 in Lorraine, France. He has a grave marker with his brother and parents in Michigan. I believe his body was returned after the war and is indeed buried there. I don't know if he was a part of D Day. But I do remember watching a movie about the landing, or perhaps a documentary. My mother mentioned something about wondering if cousin Paul was there. Either way, he was in the thick of battle. And I salute him.

The other member of my family who fell in battle is Gilbert Samis.

Gilbert Samis is a double cousin. His mother Sadie was my GGrampa Roy's sister and his father Frank was the brother of GGreat Grandma Ada, and Delia of course. According to a news clipping he fought in Mexico during the Spanish American War. He came home to help his father run a restaurant, but enlisted in February 1917 once again. He was wounded in battle at Chateau Thierry, France, recovered and returned to action. Sadly, just over a month before the Armistice, he was wounded again at Arogonne Forest in France and died of his wounds on October 28; just two weeks before the war ended, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I have always been so saddened by those who died within days of the end of war.

So in memory of these two family members as well as all the others who gave their lives, I give a heartfelt, humble thank you.

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