In my job as a Maine real estate broker for over three decades, I am blessed with meeting tons of neat, interesting people.
It is not all talking shop, only dealing with property listings during work hours either. Helping buyers, sellers from all over creation means you are part of their lives.
Real estate buying or selling is an emotional experience.
Of joy when you saved up for, go without to purchase your first home that the babies, one after another come home to. Or sadness when a divorce or death forces the need to sell that involves suffering, pain, heart ache for all the family members struggling through the dark times.
As Nazi German soldiers, aircraft and artillery machinery poured in to Holland during World War Two, Andy Spyker heard the frightful news while at sea. A radio operator aboard a Dutch navy submarine who had to alert his skipper, the captain of his vessle of the frightening news. I learned the story in the process of taking Andy to various properties in Southern Aroostook. Before settling on the purchase of land acreage in Hersey Maine to build a well deserved retirement home on to enjoy his golden years.
There were twenty six submarines in the small country of Holland under the Dutch flag during World War Two.
Many were in port forced to surrender to the German occupation but some like Andy’s submarine out on maneuvers. And now what do we do? The leaders of the country fleeing to go in to exile and no country to go home to happening for Andy and his sub crew.
Andy sent a hurried morse code after orders from the Captain of the submarine to try to establish communications with England military forces. Unlike the other crews back at port under German occupation, Andy’s submarine could still be useful in the fight to free his mother country of Holland. Was one of the fortunate ones. Like survivors of the Pearl Harbor surprise Sunday morning attack that devastated the country when the news spread of all the loss of life.
Other Dutch naval units not stuck in port joined the Allied forces.
Andy’s submarine was instructed by Her Majesty’s Royal British Navy where to report for resupply of food, ammo, diesel fuel and for any needed maintenance repairs. Hearing the story made me think of my Dad a tail gunner in a B 24 in the same European Theatre war campaign.
Stationed in Italy and making highly successful but very dangerous day light bomb runs over Germany. Where the odds of making it back to the home airfield were about 50-50 due to precision German 88 guns. And more experienced Messerschmitt fighter planes buzzing mercilessly around your sitting duck slow loaded aircraft lumbering over the IP target bomb drop. And Dad’s plane getting shot up after one bomb run and losing altitude quickly. But managing to hobble crippled to a Balkan’s English base. Where a few days later the British picked he and his crew up. Sliding them in to another B-24 to continue their bomb runs.
I had the privledge to tour the Imperial War Museum in London England last Christmas with family and the experience hit me in a very sobering way.
Much like touring the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Hawaii exhibit where no one talks. The V 2 rocket displays, the bomb shelter staged scenes from a gastly war made me appreciate my Dad even more. When I thought that was not possible for his, others in the war and behind the scenes in this country with their all out effort to gain peace. Stop the war, fighting.
I got the same feeling of respect for my Dad reading over letters that he and my Mom sent daily. Back and forth while over in Europe. Discovered when settling the estate and going through all the items a couple collects after sixty years of marriage, over eight years of life. The two lived in a time of lots of historic changes. Had battles bigger than our first world problems that consume society today that seem so trivial in comparison.
To end bloodshed of needless loss of life. Hug, kiss, reach out to a veteran and let him know you appreciate his dedication, sacrifice. And remember how the little things that cause drama, are so picky, minor concerns in our daily life are nothing compared to what others have gone through, endured in our families, communities.
Maine, we honor our veterans, dead or alive. Many gave some, some gave all.