A few weeks ago I returned from a life changing trip to Europe. I was given the opportunity to see so many of the places about which I had researched and written. I also met many people who I had only known through Facebook and email. The most important days though, were 1 May and 2 May.
1 May 2015 I visited Luxembourg Cemetery to visit my cousin James Privoznik. I wrote his story in my book Stories of the Lost. For three years I researched James’s life and service. He became a very special part of my life the last three years, and it was an honor to take his burial flag from 1948 to the cemetery and fly it. I think heaven knew how emotional I would be that day because it too was crying as we flew the flag and visited his grave. After we flew his flag for several minutes, my dad and I folded it. It was a special moment. We then visited James’s grave.
2 May 2015 a couple of friends, Norbert and Romaine, who visit James’s grave a few times year and honor the service of the 90th Division, in which James fought, met us to take us to the woods where James was killed. Walking in the woods where he fought and was killed on that cold, snowy day 11 January 1945, was a solemn, sad, and very thoughtful experience. Norbert told me a lot of history of the woods and the battle that took place and he let me wander around on my own. I cried a lot of tears that day for this brave man who gave everything so I could have the life I do today.
Today, Memorial Day, I hope you will stop a moment and reflect on all those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. If you get the chance, visit their graves or walk where they walked. It will be an experience you will never forget.
© 2015, Jennifer Holik