Memorial Day Remembering . . .

My father was an infantryman who fought the Nazis in World War II. He started off in North Africa, then to Sicily, and then on to Italy where his regiment, known as the Blue Devils, were the first Allies in Rome. He went on into northern Italy, then to Greece.

He did not say much about his experiences during the war. Just a few things that he would repeat over the years:

- War is hell.

- I'll never go camping.

- Patton was a great general.

On the first, I imagine he saw a lot of death in his travels. On the second, after two years sleeping out of doors, he had had enough. On the third, my dad always felt that the world would have turned out very differently if the "powers that be" had let Patton drive on to Berlin as he wanted to do.

Imagine if that had happened. If the Russians had not seized Berlin. If there had not been an East Germany. Maybe there would never have been an Iron Curtain.

Patton was a great general, but he was a frustrated leader, limited and leashed and held back by those above him who called the shots.

I wonder if my dad identified with Patton in this respect. After the war, my father joined the police force here in New Brunswick, NJ, and after a long career, became captain and finally chief of detectives. He had some friends in high places, but he felt frustrated by the deal-makers and politicians. Eventually, after years of loyal and meritorious service to the city, he retired. Then the local politicians betrayed him by destroying the career of his eldest son, my brother who had followed my dad into public service to the city.

My father: a kid who became a warrior. A cop who became a captain and chief. A father of six children. A player, coach, and umpire. A mentor and leader. A servant of the public good.

Remembering . . . George James Seamon (1924 - 2003)

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 05/29/06


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