Memorial Day Fidelity

Don Roberts was a top turret gunner and engineer on the B-17 Omar the Dentmaker. He was killed in action over Pas de Calais, France on March 26, 1944.

Don was never married, nor had children to carry on his name. He was twenty-two years old.

Don was my papaw’s best friend in the service. 

My dad is named Don Smith. My dad also named his oldest son Don. 

Don Roberts’ name carries on, in a way, and his memory is alive. 

I think of him and the countless others like him, who gave the “last full measure of devotion,” and laid down their lives for their friends, their families, and their fellow countrymen. 

In an age of radical self-definition and pride, it is inspiring to remember and honor men whose lives and deaths were marked by fidelity to something noble and beyond themselves. 

We remember Donald Behrn Roberts. We remember them all. 

President Lincoln said at Gettysburg that the honored dead don’t need to be dedicated, but we all do. The living. 

I will honor Don’s memory today and into the next month by focusing on Fidelity.

May light perpetual shine upon Don.


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