Column: Tribute to American soldiers

Paul W. Smith
The Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, holding the remains of 4,398 brave Americans lost in WWII.

“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’” 

Along the Po River, bound for Chioggia, Italy.

With over 60 of our WJR Travel Club Members, (some making a first stop in Rome, then meeting up with the rest of us for a couple days in Florence) all headed to Venice to catch our Uniworld River Cruise: “Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy.”

We quickly learned just how good our travel company, Cruise & Tour, really is. Happily, everything is (as expected) first class all the way. Smooth sailing (no pun intended) with the Crull family (Dennis, Peggy and son Charlie) showing us time and time again they are truly experienced professionals looking after every little detail so that we can leave the “heavy lifting” to them and enjoy trouble free travel. (Speaking of heavy lifting, when will we finally figure out we need about half of what we always pack ?) (You too ?)

I’m filing this column while we are still traveling because I wanted to tell you about our most powerful and important stop early in our travels. 

And most appropriate on this Memorial Day.

Dennis Crull added to our scheduled itinerary a visit to Florence American Cemetery and Memorial, a 70-acre site along the Greve River holding the remains of 4,398 brave Americans lost in WW II. This is a good day to remember the American Battle Monuments Commission oversees and maintains this and 25 other American cemeteries in 16 countries.

Out of the 4,398 headstones, over 60 of them mark the final resting place of fellow Michiganians.

We are sending pictures to many Michigan families who have never been able to visit their fallen loved ones.

And on this Memorial Day, the state of Michigan flag is planted by their side.

Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.