“The genius of the United States… is always most in the common people.”

In his 1855 Preface to Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman wrote:

The genius of the United States is not best or most in its executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors or colleges, or churches, or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors, but always most in the common people.

On this Veterans Day, let us honor the “common people” and/or the memories of the same by sharing their names.

My dad, William C. Klaczynski (1928-1975), served 20 years in the United States Navy. His service to our country took him away from home for many, many months at a time when I was a child, but I learned from him and my mom that there is always something deeper and larger than the individual… and that is the strength of our nation. I honor my dad today.

My friend, Dimitri Gavriel (1974-2004), served our country in the United States Marines. He knew, too, that intangible something deeper and larger than the individual. He lost his life in Iraq. I honor Dimi today.

These men are my heroes.

Please add the names and stories of your heroes on this day that honors our Veterans.

“The genius of the United States… is always most in the common people.” was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (10)
  1. FireDad.
    FireDad’s Paternal and Maternal Grandfathers, Gramps and Charlie.
    DVSJr who was killed in WWII, my Dad’s namesake.
    My cousin JL.
    My uncles DWW and JDS.
    And Matthew Wallace, who gave his life in Iraq in 2006.

  2. My heroes are not only veterans, but their wives and families who keep going while their loved ones are so far away, fighting for something they believe in. I have a friend whose husband has done several tours in Iraq, and I am constantly amazed at the strength they both have when apart from one another.

  3. I honor all of our brothers and sisters who served in the armed forces in times of war and peace. And the support personnel who served with them. As far as members of my family who served, I can acknowledge my Uncle Charlie Maaia and my Uncle Charlie Coelho, who both served during WWll and my Cousin Anthony Feola who served during the Korean War.
    (I served 6 years in the Army National Guard but was never called to active duty.)

  4. I honor my grandfather, who fought in WWII, along with my father and uncle who served during Vietnam. There are three pictures hanging in my grandfather’s office – one of each of them. Every time I see them I am reminded of the courage and sacrifice of all those who serve our country every day.

  5. Oh Sharon, I love your writings. I will hug my dad for you tomorrow. I count my blessings that I still have him around. I know your dad was so special and you miss him.

  6. My father, both of my grandfathers, an uncle and numerous great-uncles all served in the US Military. Many times I wish that I had the courage they had to serve our country as they did.

  7. Dad served in the US Navy during WWII. His ship was sunk by a German U-boat. The commandant, rather the executing survivors, checked on their well-being and pointed them toward land.

    Dad came home to marry our Mother. Together they raised a family of five children.

    Thank you, Dad, and all your fellow service people.

“The genius of the United States… is always most in the common people.” was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto