Noting the passing of Edward "Babe" Heffron, 90, of Philadelphia, PA. A member of the 101st Airborne Band of Brothers, he uttered the words "The real men, the real heroes, are buried over there, or come (sic) home to be buried." My late father uttered those words before they were broadcast as part of the miniseries, having seen the black sands of Iwo Jima close up.
Years ago, my Uncle Jim, Aunt Mary, Cousin Carol and I stopped by a cafe in Bastogne, Belgium. Lunch time, and we took a table toward the rear of the establishment. We chatted after a fabulous morning touring the gorgeous countryside. The proprietor stopped by our table, literally hat in hand. "Americans?" he asked. We answered that we were. Our lunchtime bottle of wine was on him. "Thank you for what you did for us," he said.
Babe Heffron earned those thanks in a cold foxhole not far from where we sat. We bid you farewell, sir. You did your country credit and deserve to be remembered forever.