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Those who paid the greatest price

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Bleich, Joe C.jpg

During the wintry, polar-like months of 1944-45, he lay on a frozen branch as his blood flowed ever so slowly from his side. His unit had gone ahead. They did not know he had just been struck by a German bullet. When he fell on the snow it had been white; it now turned red with his blood. There was no relief in sight. The wound was going to be fatal if left untreated, and there was no one around. In the temperatures that had sometimes gone to 20 degrees below zero during the Battle of the Bulge, he shivered as a different feeling of cold came over him.  He knew he would not be rescued. He prayed. He knew he was going to die very soon on that lonely, icy battlefield in the middle of nowhere. His thoughts of his life collectively, swiftly and clearly passed before his eyes.  He wanted to say “goodbye” to so many.

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