No, I am not talking about my recent book award, but rather something of much greater importance. This year, I have the honor of having my birthday (May 29th) fall on Memorial Day, which is Monday. Mere words cannot express my gratitude to ALL of our wonderful military veterans. I am fully aware (from my history books) of the incredible sacrifices that have been made to protect and preserve our country, and from personal experience, I know just how great the Greatest Generation truly was. My father served as a bombardier during World War II, and flew across the Atlantic Ocean in a B-24, ending up in North Africa and participating in some very serious battles.
My father had planned to return to New York City and become a police detective, but a war-time injury got in the way. My Uncle Jim served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for most of his adult life, and flew numerous top-secret missions around the globe. My Uncle Aubry was in the Marine Corps, and served with distinction during the Korean War. So did my Uncle Paul, who served his country in the U.S.Army during the Korean War.
I mention the above just to remind my lovely blog followers of the importance of observing Memorial Day. Lest we forget. Which in my house, we never will.
And before I forget something else… I know that many of you were curious about my friend Lil Taylor, the soon-to-be-famous watercolor artist. I inadvertently gave you her email address instead of her website address… so, just for the record, you can view her paintings at: Lil-taylor.pixels.com Check out her work, she’s very talented!
Less talented would be yours truly, but as some of you know, my new history book, TURBULENT TIMES, was recently chosen as a Finalist in the 8th Annual International Book Award Contest. My book about William H. Seward was picked as an award-winning Finalist in the “History: United States” category, and for this honor, I am extremely grateful. The 2017 International Book Awards brought in over 2,000 entries, and a complete list of the Finalists has been released to tens of thousands of national and international media outlets. (Which should really boost sales of the book!)
If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, you can order the book from Amazon.com,Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the nation. AND CHECK THIS OUT…… If you leave a nice review on Amazon.com, you will be automatically eligible to win a FREE trip to the Smithsonian Institute Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. I will be there, and so will some VERY important politicians and celebrities! (A free trip will not break the bank, so why not take a chance?)
When I was a young man, I wanted to become a banker, but I lost interest.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this particular blog to Angelo Petraglia, my childhood friend and neighbor. Angie was drafted into the Army after we graduated from Valley Stream Central High School in New York. Sadly, at 20 years of age, he was sent to Vietnam, and shortly after his arrival, he was killed in action in Binh Duong, South Vietnam. My friend served in the 1st Infantry Division and was killed by small arms fire on December 18, 1968. I think about him often, and hopefully one of his family members will see this blog and realize that his sacrifice — like so many others — will never be forgotten.
If you ever find yourself at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., try to locate Panel 36W, Line 41, and if you do, please send my best to one brave soldier. (And one hell of a baseball player!)
Have a safe and mindful weekend… Love to all,