AN AMERICAN HERO FORGOTTEN BY HISTORY

Two men with Armistice Day stories to be told. Two men who exhibited love and respect for their country in different ways.

World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am in 1918. The Armistice has been signed at 5 in the morning, scheduled to go into effect at 11 that same morning.

Henry Nicholas Gunther was born in 1895 of German immigrant parents. In Baltimore. Raised and schooled there.

He became a member of the 313th Infantry Regiment. Known as Baltimore’s Own. He arrived in France in July 1918.

Gunther was involved in fighting in the Argonne on November 11. Front line. Just before 11 am, Gunter’s group was confronted by a German road block which contained a machine gun. His sergeant ordered Gunther to fix his bayonet and charge the Germans.

Gunther did as ordered. As he charged, there was a burst of machine gun fire. Gunther was killed. He died at 10:59 am.

The Americans were unaware of the truce. The Germans were. They kept shouting at Gunther that the war was over. Gunther apparently did not understand and kept coming. They shot him.

Gunther was 23 at the time. He was the last American to be killed in World War I.

General Pershing recognized Gunther at an Armistice ceremony the next day. He referred to Gunther as an American hero.

Today, Gunther is an American hero forgotten by history.

One hundred years later to the day, it was Armistice Day again. November 11, 2018. The free world commemorated the occasion in Paris. The heads of the world’s free nations in attendance.

Trump was there. In his room at the American Embassy at a very special moment.

There was a ceremony at an American cemetery. Aisne Marine American Cemetery. Fifty miles outside Paris. The final resting place of American soldiers who died at the Battle of Belleau Wood.

Trump failed to honor his country’s war dead. He did not attend. It was raining. He was the only world leader who failed to attend.

A tale of two men. One a hero. The other, I am not sure how to label.

Hemingway personally experienced war as an ambulance driver and war correspondent. He did not like war. I question how he would have addressed heroism. Whatever, he did write, “In modern war…..you will die like a dog for no good reason.”

Busy day yesterday.

My cell phone was screwed up. A simple problem I could not resolve. I am not mechanically inclined in any fashion.

Hurried over to Verizon in the Win-Dixie Shopping Center. They set me straight in seconds.

Then picked up Robert and Ally. No school because of the holiday. Robert now a freshman in high school and Ally in the eighth grade.

Both adults.

We went to Sandy’s Cafe. They’re choice. A favorite of theirs, also.

They shared with me their present day experiences.

Robert loves high school. He received an award as the outstanding freshman student of the quarter. Based on grades, activities, etc. He continues to practice almost daily his tennis. A star in making. No question he will be on the varsity team when they begin play in January. He went to a dance. With a group. Talked to girls, did not dance.

Ally a typical eighth grader. Top year at her school. A big shot. She had straight A’s on her recent report card. She is developing into a beauty. Pure femininity. She is anxious to get to high school. Her brother’s comments make her so. She knows there is another world awaiting her there.

I noticed yesterday morning a bulge on one side of my neck. Vertical. About 5 inches log. Protruding out of the side of my neck.

Panic set in. My carotid artery. I was on my way to a stroke.

Was in Dr. Ivor’s office at 3 to see nurse Susan Neill. She and McIvor have been caring for my heart for 12 years. She checked me out. Not carotid. Ran some tests. Found nothing wrong. Perhaps my weight loss had caused some muscle or blood vessel to protrude.

I felt better. Still concerned, however. I am a hypochondriac. Told her I was seeing my primary Dr. Norris wednesday for some blood results. I would see what he had to say.

Susan and I have become friends over the years. I learned yesterday was her first day at work in 8 weeks. She was wearing a big boot on one foot.

She was not a happy camper.

She was at St. Mary’s Church. Placing some flowers on the altar. As she turned to step down, she went down. Fractured some important bone in her ankle/foot. Now has screws, pins, and gross discomfort.

I hurt for her.

It was 4 in the afternoon. Too early to go home. Too early to really go out. Had a choice to make. Went out. To Blue Macaw. A couple of drinks, a light dinner and some good company.

Everyone with physical problems. Doug, who is a tour guide at the Hemingway House, is in intensive care. His heart. His co-worker Alisia told me.

Paul and Ron came in. Paul told me he is experiencing the same throat problems I complained about 6 months ago. He is undergoing a procedure friday to correct it.

What a world! What a life! It’s called getting old!

I was home by 8:30. Went to bed. Fell asleep almost immediately. Woke at midnight and could not sleep the rest of the night.

Doug Bennett writes an interesting blog…..This Week On The Island. A series of events marked with photos.

His opening and closing verbiage paragraphs always read the same. Part of the introductory paragraph: “Everything is true except for those parts that are lies.”

The last paragraph: “Key West, Close to Perfect, Far from Normal.”

I especially like his last statement.

Today, tuesday. My podcast show tonight. Nine my time. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Join me. I rant and rave about whatever moves me at the moment. A fast moving half hour. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

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