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April 6, 1917 A Day of Fear and Hope

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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

The United States entered World War I. Americans were going “over there” to fight an enemy on behalf of people they had not even met
It was Good Friday and 2 families were preparing for Easter with hope.

TWO baby boys were born that day

One was the 7th of 9 children born to recent Lithuanian immigrants in the coal region of northeastern PA. The other was the 13th of 15 children born to a family whose ancestors had lived in rural VA for over 150 years.

The boys grew up in different environments, living very different lives although both weathered the depression and fought in WWII.

Both married, raised children and were blessed with grandchildren. Each saw their oldest grandchild go off to study at Virginia Tech where they met and married one year after graduation.

On April 6, 1997 these two men from diverse backgrounds celebrated their 80th birthday together. Besides a common birthdate, they now shared a new great-grandson.

My Dad (Papa Frank) is on the left. My SIL’s grandfather (Grandpa Dee) is on the right.
That was a happy day.

We discovered that the new baby’s parents had a lot in common too.
They were born exactly 9 months apart while their fathers were both stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia before being shipped overseas. Neither was aware of the other.

Both babies were given engraved silver cups, traditional gifts from the army units at Fort Eustis.
Now this matched set is displayed in their kitchen.

My last blog was about the “Imaginary Friends” we meet and get to know online.
We come from diverse backgrounds and are in very different places in our lives.
“There are no strangers here only friends we haven’t met yet” a former pastor reminds his congregation every week.

Happy 104th birthday, Papa Frank and Grandpa Dee.
You never anticipated how your paths would cross. We miss you.

Each new life is the product of the love of previous generations

Edit: Seems I'm not the only one with deep thought this morning and drawing strength from the past
"What Gives You Strength?"

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