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Wednesday, May 30, 2018


by Howard Winn

NORWALK, CT — While stationed in northeast India during World War II, Nick Samodel repaired cargo planes that hauled supplies over the towering Himalaya Mountains to allied soldiers fighting the Japanese. “We had five airbases close to the mountains,” said Samodel, who served as an aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps. “We had to change the engines and fix oil leaks — that was a big problem because at high altitudes the oil leaks out through the seals. It takes a lot of maintenance. We lost some planes. They found one 10 years ago on the side of a mountain.” On Monday, Samodel, 97, of Norwalk,  served as grand marshal in the 2018 Memorial Day Parade. —The Hour, May 26, 2018

Summer begins
and the ice cream shop
on the corner
opens for the season
while the families
gather on the corner
of Route 77 and Shore
Road to applaud
the earnest children
in the high school band
marching by led by the
grizzled World War II
survivor wearing his
old uniform which he
must preserve in a clothes
bag at the back of a closet
to remember once a year
the deaths in the Battle
of the Bulge or the killings
in the Western Pacific or
perhaps just service in Army
Supply in New Jersey where
heroes not quite lurked in view of
the sea and vacation beaches
and waited for discharge
while spending time being
entertained by the young
women volunteering for
time to party in the USO
so war could be forgotten
for a social moment to be
resurrected each year on
Memorial Day dedicated to
the waste of war even good ones
for patriotism is both the flaw
and the consequence of nationalism
even when reduced to jingoism

Howard Winn's novel Acropolis is published by Propertius Press. He has poems in the Pennsylvania Literary Journal and in Evening Street Magazine.