Hero on the R Train

 I passed a distinguished older gentleman on the subway today, wearing three military decorations on his lapel. my daughter Ella and I took the open seats behind him, while I worked up the nerve to speak with him.

I’m at an age where I find my heroes quickly disappearing — those who braved the Second World War, those who took mankind to the moon, and those who braved the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s. I knew if I did not speak to this man, it would gnaw at me for years.

“Excuse me sir, may I ask you about your medals?”

He nodded.

“Where are these medals from?”

“From a war,” he said. He did not speak English well.

“May I take your photograph?”

He made an open handed gesture, as if to say, “But of course.”

I thanked him, and when I got home, I tried to identify the medals on his chest. I believe them to be:

Krzyż Walecznych Krzyż Armii
Krajowej
Warszawski Krzyż
Powstańczy
The Polish
Cross of Valor
The Polish
Home Army Cross
The Warsaw
Uprising Cross

Today, I met a hero of the Polish resistance.

Posted in Brooklyn, NYC, Personalities, Uncategorized

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