Somewhere near Detroit…
…a World War II veteran lies in a nursing home. Thoughts brighten and fade. The war predominates. “Jimmy and I made friends right away when we met in basic training. We ended up going to Europe together. Jimmy was always there by my side. We liberated Dachau. All that death. They told us we were fighting for democracy, our rights and freedoms. It seemed right. It seemed just. Besides, we had to do it.”
“I’ll never forget that morning. It was cold, real cold. I said ‘morning Jimmy!’ There was no answer. I said good morning again. Jimmy didn’t answer. I reached over and felt that he was frozen. That was hard to look at, hard to know that Jimmy was gone. I’ll never forget Jimmy. He fought for democracy right with me, right with all of us. Lot of them are still there like Jimmy. I made it home. Lived 91 years. Right here at home in Detroit, I had the democracy we fought for.”
“(Governor) Snyder said he had to do it. He had to privatize Detroit and those other cities. We voted democratically and he took it away, the democracy I fought for. Said he had to do it! Jimmy fought and froze to death for his home town of Detroit. Jimmy had to do it. I had to do it, but I made it home. Now, my home that I fought for is not a democracy. Neither are those other cities. I wonder how many of us have lost what we fought for. Maybe we fought for nothing. It feels like it…” …somewhere near Detroit… …somewhere near Flint… … somewhere near Pontiac… … somewhere near Benton Harbor… … somewhere near Escorse… …somewhere where veterans died for nothing. They had to do it.