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Memorial Day

I wish I could tell you more about him. He was my mother’s mother’s brother, a great uncle, but I never met him.

My grandmother said she called him “Jumbo,” and she was hoping I would take to the same nickname. As an awkward preteen at the time, I didn’t want to be associated with being overweight. I didn’t hear the love in her request.

From what I understand, he was 28 when killed in Germany. He had probably a 6th grade education and was a farm worker. I think he was working with his brothers on the family farm, which at one point was a fairly sizable operation. I don’t know what loves he may have had and I don’t think he had a family of his own.

I never asked my grandma or my grandpa what he was like. I believe my mom has more pictures of him than the one I have seen recently, which is a very handsome man in uniform. But even what she knows is second-hand. We know people who knew him. Or knew, because time passes and people do, too.

But I have his name.

His death, fighting for the country and values and family he loved, is part of my story.

Grave Marker for Hjalmer O Lindberg with flags