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A personal memory on this D-Day plus 70 years

From Normandy to Okinawa - Every WWII veteran's day
From Normandy to Okinawa - Every WWII veteran's day
Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

My mind wandered today as I watched the D-Day ceremonies. I thought of my father who died in 2008. Although he served in the South Pacific as a US Marine (1942-45), I saw his face on the elderly veterans at Normandy and that campaign so long ago.

He never talked much about the war. That was probably because he was actually in battles from Guadalcanal, New Caledonia and Guam to Okinawa. How could his son, who was 40 years younger, possibly understand the sacrifice these men made to serve this great country?

It was another time and era. I spent the day remembering this wonderful man. A man who was the son of a minister, left the plains of Nebraska to graduate from Harvard Law School and serve his country after Pearl Harbor in the Marine Corps.

I thought I’d share his obituary from 2008.

Dwight L. Schwab Sr. 1913-2008

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, at The Bedford in Vancouver, WA for Dwight L. Schwab Sr., who died Oct. 7 of pneumonia at age 95. Dwight L. Schwab, Sr. was born March 22, 1913, in Crafton, Neb. He graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University and Harvard Law School. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps, including in the battles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa, and was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired a Major in the Marine Corps. A trial attorney, he moved in 1946 to Portland, where he was a member of Hutchinson, Schwab & Burdick. He retired in 1996 after 50 years practicing the law. Mr. Schwab had lived in Vancouver, WA since 2002. In 1947, he married Anna C. MacAskill; she died in 2007. A daughter, Helen, died in 2003. He is survived by his son, Dwight L. Schwab, Jr.

I saw him on many of the old-timers today at a place in France 10,000 miles from where he fought so long ago. I am proud to carry his name and hope I have earned that privilege.

He was quite a guy.

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