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When I was a little girl, I sat with my mother on the sofa of our most recent home and listened to her stories of her travels during World War II, one of the most significant events in her life as the wife of an officer in the United States Army. For my father, these were the years that gave him the most pride in himself and his accomplishments.

At the end of the war, our family had suffered loss and deprivation, like everyone else. When my father returned to Maine, there were no jobs for veterans. To feed his family, my father signed on to seasonal work to pick potatoes, his years of command in the U.S. Army and the prestige of his rank and responsibility carried no weight in post-war America. My mother worked in the canning factory.

My mother entrusted these memories to me in 1991. On her 90th birthday, twelve years later, I presented them to her, all my siblings and my three children as my small effort to honor the sacrifices of the greatest generation of Americans to this day.

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