Memorial Day: Glenn Knoblauch

News Cut will present stories about those who served in whatever capacity and have died. Please send me a few paragraphs about them and, if possible, a picture and I’ll be sure to add it here.


Part of America’s Greatest Generation, my grandfather, Glenn Knoblauch, served in WWII. He was one of the men who grabbed a California cruiseliner-turned-warship and headed to Hawaii just days after Pearl Harbor, bent on saving America. He spent most of his days in the Pacific, encountering Banyan trees and blades of grass which could cut your shoes.

At least I think he did. Grandpa, who died two years ago, was known for his good-natured approach and not for his ramblings about the war. Although he would never purchase a Japanese car, he loved all his neighbors. I know the war changed him, but I only heard a few stories.

Once, as a guest speaker in my history class, he told a story about his friend leaving his foxhole only to be killed by his other friend. He had mistakenly fallen into the other foxhole on his way to the bathroom. Grandpa said “We all learned to shit in the hole,” and the kids sat in silence. The kids had been asking for blood and gore, and now they had it.

Only I probably knew the magnitude of his statement; my grandfather never swore. It was then I first realized there was another side to my grandfather… I never did get to know that side of him.

What I do know: He won a lottery and was sent home days before his unit saw extremely heavy action, a battle where most of them died. He returned home after three long years, knocked on my grandmother’s door, and said: “Your hair is darker!” They were married three days later. She had waited so long.

This Memorial Day, I’d like to thank my grandfather and other vets for putting their life on the line for me and my country. I truly appreciate it. My grandfather’s courageous actions changed the world, and really, he lives on all around me.

— Holly Cairns

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