My Grandfather was a war hero. He fought at Iwo Jima in the Second World War. His recognized act of bravery wasn’t on the battlefield, though, it was in a factory.

Some hotshot kid was working beside Grandpa, putting bolts iito bombs.. He stripped a bolt, realized what he had done, then ran out of the building. Everybody ran out of the building, except the Commanding Officer. He asked Grandpa if he knew what he was doing. “I hope so,” he replied. Then the Commanding Officer ran out of the building,

Let’s say he was tightening the bolt clockwise. If it had gone just the slightest bit counter-clockwise, the bomb would have exploded. He got a medal.

The last time we saw each other was at my Grandmother’s funeral. We hugged and said our goodbyes. That was it. He died on Thanksgiving Day, 1999—while I was visiting my brother in New York City. We lit a candle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The photograph is of Grandpa holding Chasmene—his oldest Great-Grand child.

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