Remembering the Life of Lloyd T. Guessford, PFC

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Today is Memorial Day in the United States—a day set aside to remember those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms.

For some it is a time off to enjoy a picnic, participate in a race, or spend time with family and friends. Even during our celebrations, let us not forget those who made all this possible.

On June 7, 1944, during the D-Day invasion, Lloyd Theodore Guessford, PFC, 29th Infantry Division, 115th Regiment lost his life on the shores of Normandy, France.  He left behind a wife and an infant daughter whom he had never met.

While I know very little of this man, he has indirectly affected my life. He was the grandfather of my husband and the great-grandfather of my five children. His life was cut short, but he continues to live on today in my children and now grandchildren.

Life is short. None of us knows when our souls will depart from this earth. Let us honor the memory of those who’ve gone before us and choose to live this day as though it could be our last.

You may also enjoy reading an historical fiction account of Lloyd Guessford Tears of Sorrow or Lest We Forget, a piece written by my husband Maynard Keller.

Lest We Forget

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In memory of those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy, I share this tribute my husband Maynard Keller wrote about his grandfather who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.

 

The United States of America designates the last Monday of May as Memorial Day‑‑a day to remember those who so valiantly fought to preserve the freedoms we have.

 

Thousands lost their lives on the shores of Normandy, France, on the day we call D‑day. My grandfather, Lloyd Theodore Guessford, Pfc., 29th Infantry Division, 115th Regiment, gave his life for his country on June 6, 1944. He left behind a wife and an infant daughter whom he had never met.

 

Many historians view D‑Day as the turning point in World War II. Yet some prominent leaders in Washington who have never served in the military, much less fought in a war, criticize a strong national defense.

 

The families of veterans gave up so much: My mother, Barbara Ann Guessford, never sat on her father’s lap. Her father never tucked her in bed or gave her a good night kiss. She sacrificed more than I will ever know.

 

I know very little about this man I would have called “Pop Pop” or my mother would have called “Daddy.” Where was he educated? Did he have any brothers and sisters? Are any of them alive today? Did he have special talents in music or other areas? Where is he buried?

 

I owe so much to my grandfather‑‑without him, I would not be here. Although he no longer physically lives on earth, part of him lives on in my mother, me, and my five children. I dedicate this article to all the “Lloyd Guessfords” who sacrificed so that we might have freedom in America.

 

O valiant hearts, who to your glory came

Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;

Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,

Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.

 

Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war,

As who had heard God’s message from afar;

All you had hope for, all you had, you gave

To save mankind‑‑yourself you scorned to save

 

John Stanhope Arkwright