14 July 14
“‘Impossible’ is a word found only in the dictionary of fools.”
Between December of 1941 and VJ Day (15 Aug 45), the WW I Monument Castle Tower atop Mount Battie, overlooking Penobscot Bay on the Maine Coast, was occupied continuously by volunteer members of the “Home Guard,” mostly ageing WWI veterans
They scanned the Bay, day and night, for signs of Nazi submarines.
Most carried personally-owned 1903 Springfield Rifles and Colt 1911 pistols. They were always armed!
Without fail, local Boy Scouts, daily and nightly, faithfully shuttled hot food and coffee to these observers, trudging up and down the five-hundred mountain, at least once per watch.
A weary guardsman, when asked why he was visibly armed, unapologetically replied:
“… my responsibility is to shoot Nazi spies who ascend the stairway”
It represented an unsung and non-glamorous chapter of WWII. No movies were made about these stalwart men who audaciously stood watch, day after day, night after night.
It was a different era. Everyone looked for ways to support the War Effort, to serve, one way or another.
Today, we veterans represent a dwindling minority. The vast majority of Americans have never worn their Country’s uniform, never born arms in her defense, never fired a shot in anger. But, no matter our age, we are, bearing arms, ever-prepared to put the gear back on and join the fight once more- any time, anywhere!
“The thing that’s always worried me about being ‘one of the few,’ is the way we keep getting fewer!”
British Flight Officer David Campbell (played by Richard Burton) in the 1962 epic film, “The Longest Day”