It’s still hard for me to believe that my grandfather fought in World War I. It seems a war too far away in time for me to have a direct connection with one of its participants. There is a strange feeling that washes over me when I look at his helmet and contemplate that it is what he wore in the trenches and on the battlefield, what may have saved his life and insured my own. All of us have missed nonexistence by inches, or seconds or strange circumstances in the history that has preceded us. Life, it seems to me, is a great gift—and yet—those who faced atrocious circumstances daily, those who died in concentration camps before their lives had a chance to bloom, those who lived under tyrants–I wonder—what would they consider life to be?

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