I'm not a big fan of book signings. Seems like I spend a lot of time catching up on all the news magazines between signatures and sales, but tonight was special for me, for two reasons.
First, I got to sign a book for a member of the U.S. Special Forces who served in Vietnam back in 1965. This gentleman didn't say much, and he appreciated my thanks and my notations about his own UNTOLD VALOR in the inscription in the book. When I asked him if he'd ever recorded his experiences, he told me, "No, I took an oath never to reveal what I did while in the Special Forces, and I will stand by that oath". Integrity lives in the U.S. The Vietnam vets have always gotten a raw deal in this country. It's always a pleasure to tell one thank you and welcome home.
Second, I met a young girl, only a sophomore in high school, who told me that she loved history and wanted to become a historian, probably a college history professor. Her area of special interest is World War Two, specifically the Holocaust. I was so impressed with this young lady. I was looking at the next generation of historians, and it felt good to know there is still an interest in the war and the suffering of the persecuted. I am thankful that there are young people like her to carry the torch. I signed her book with the inscription: "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it". Surprisingly, she had never heard this quote. Idaho Falls is not a place where many dream of becoming WWII historians. May all her dreams come true.
These two individuals, in particular, made the evening very special for me. It's so good to know people like them are in our midst, one representing our past, one representing our future.