WE MUST NOT FORGET. Part (1) The old man attempted to mask his strangled sob with coughing sounds. All around him there were delicate feminine sniffles--tissues dabbed at eyes--many age worn and liver-spotted hands covered quivering mouths, to keep the sounds of weeping, contained. The assembled listeners were sitting close enough to one another that any attempts to hide feelings that morning, would have proved futile--some simply wept, unashamedly as they listened raptly to the speaker. It was Tuesday morning, the 7th of November 2000. It was the weekly meeting of the Sun City Arizona Lions Club Branch #79. In commemoration of the upcoming Veterans Day, the guest speaker was asked to give a talk. He had presented the same talk to the Greater Phoenix Press Club on July 4th--it was highly acclaimed by all in attendance. The speaker had confided to me, that had he of not been able to deliver the talk, his wife Fay was prepared to read it for the members of the Press Club. God Bless him, he come through like a champion--like a Marine--like the former Marine he is--now seventy four years old but then a young Marine, still in his teens, watching the flag raisings on Iwo Jima--. The year before when he wrote his story I called a friend named Steve Wilson from the Arizona Republic and arranged an introduction. All parties being mid-westeners, there was immediate rapport established--a nice feature article in the Republic and later I sent a copy of the story to Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News. Mr. Brokaw answered back personally and told us how important those stories about WWII were--he had just finished his best selling bookTHE GREATEST GENERATION. I have read the story more times than once--it was a story about people and places I knew as a boy--it had an interest for me--Edgewood, Iowa where he had graduated in 1943--I had been born in Edgewood in 1933. Small farming community of less than five hundred souls, so I knew many of the same people that he did. When I was a high school senior I went to live with his in-laws. Fay was their only living child--they were my legal guardians and in 1951, would sign the papers giving me their permission to join the Navy at seventeen. Yes, I had read the story many times--yes, there were tie-ins--probably though, above all else, he is such a good man--a good friend--just a saintly person. His name is Frank Densmore--I’ve never called him that--just Denny--the same as his wife Fay calls him--they were married in 1945--when I address mail to him, seems strange writing Frank Densmore. For many years in and around Dixon, Illinois he was Doctor Frank--the very skilled and competent veterinarian for more than thirty years. Denny told me once he had every intention of being a farmer as his father had been--until the severity of his war wounds changed his life and his plans. The man standing behind the podium was in control of his emotions and most certainly in control of the listeners. Breakfast had been served to the festive group--good natured banterings among friends--business was conducted--assignments for fund raisings activities completed, prayers offered and the pledge to the colors. I suppose there were members in the group who had read or been told Denny’s story before, however when the Chaplain had introduced him, respectful silence prevailed from that point on.