My hero died

On a g-chat conversation with Carly and Ben tonight, Ben mentioned that Dick Winters died.

When I was around 6 or 7, I was introduced to the history of WWII. My step-dad taught a class on the Holocaust and when I was around 9 or 10, I began to understand just how serious of a time it was. I read the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel on the way to the Outer Banks and of course “The Diary of Anne Frank.” My favorite movie of all time is Schindler’s List and I’ve read multiple biographies on Oskar Schindler. I knew there was more to WWII than just the Holocaust, but that’s what I focused on most.

However, when I worked at TGI Fridays, a coworker told me that he thought I’d love to watch Band of Brothers and lent me the series. I had the next day off, so when I got home, I watched the first episode and was instantly hooked. I was up all night and by the time the sun was coming up, I had finished the last episode.

One thing I had to know after watching that was: Who was Dick Winters?

In the mini-series, he was so amazing and inspirational, I thought to myself that there was no way someone like that truly existed.

For my birthday that year, my best friend Ian bought me Dick Winters’ autobiography. I read it cover to cover in a day and was in complete awe. He really was everything that HBO played him out to be. He was humble, kind, courageous and a true leader. He gave more than any normal man could and all the men who served with him would agree.

From the USA Today article I read, one of his former soldiers Bill Guarnere was quoted saying: “He was a good man, a very good man,” Guarnere said. “I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company.”

I think everyone out there has a hero. My best friend Ian’s was Roberto Clemente. Matt’s was Jay Bell. Claire’s is Sidney Crosby. Mine was Dick Winters. He died January 2nd and I’m sad. Sure, he was 92 and had a battle with Parkinson’s Disease, but it’s the thought that heroes can die that makes me sad.

However, he’s at peace now and totally deserves what the afterlife will bring him. They don’t make men like Dick Winters much anymore. He was a man who truly gave his life for others and never asked for anything in return. As I mentioned before, he was humble, patient and kind. And I’m positive he’ll be greatly missed.

“If you can,” Winters wrote, “find that peace within yourself, that peace and quiet and confidence that you can pass on to others, so that they know that you are honest and you are fair and will help them, no matter what, when the chips are down.”

My hero died last week and I’m sad. But I’m glad that he was my hero, because everyone needs a hero.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on January 10, 2011, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I saw the headline on line this afternoon, and hollered over my cube wall to my boss. He’s met a couple of the Band of Brothers guys, and loved the books/series. He was quite bummed and spoke at some length about what a good guy he was.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your hero, dear. Your respect was well placed.

  2. I’ve never seen the series, but you make me want to watch it.

  3. Amen, sister. We saw B of B last year and tore through all the episodes in short order. Mrs. Carpetbagger now wants to go on a Band of Brothers vacation before they all die. Basically, you go to Belgium and Germany to the sites of their battles and a member of Easy Company is also on the trip to give commentary.

    I’m in awe of the willing selflessness and sacrifice of that generation.

    • I got The Pacific for Christmas and I still have yet to watch it. People said it was good – but far too many people compared it to B of B and so I’m wondering if I will, too. However, the war in the Pacific was far different from the war in Europe.

    • Also – that vacation sounds awesome. My husband has promised me a WWII European vacation where we go to see all the high points and Auschwitz.

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