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This a question posed by Jamie Saxe in an article on TravelResearchOnline-Smith. It caught my attention mainly because I’ve been promoting a Special 70th Anniversary WW II D-DAY Memorial Cruise sailing June  2014 and this question seemed timely.  My Father was stationed in France during WW II.  As a 4 year old child I remember him coming home on the train to Hammond, La. where we waited for him.  When he got off the train he was singing “Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.  I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way!”  Funny the little things one remembers when a child.  Later, after Mom and Dad had both passed on,  I found a postcard of The Arc de Triomphe from Paris that he had written to my Mom.  It was written in Oct 1941 when I was 3 months old.  The surprising thing was the date it was stamped as mailed by postal service—Nov 1944.  Who knows where that card had been taken to before the Army sent it on home.  When I was in Paris for a River Cruise on the Seine, I had my picture taken in front of the Arc.  If those stones could only talk.

So you know, I use that old phrase all the time with friends, family and business associates. We all seem to be a product of our culture and upbringing. I am utterly amazed at the comments I hear from other people. I have always believed (thanks to my parents and other mentors) that what I say and do is a reflection of my character. I guard my reputation with fervor. As a travel advisor, I feel my purpose is to enlighten people with helpful knowledge gained from experience and research. I have seen 1st hand what rumors and unfounded, or out of context comments can do to other people and companies. It can take years to build a good reputation and 5 minutes to crumble it. No situation is perfect. How you handle imperfection says everything about you and your subject. Think first, then speak. Be a beacon of light, not a trash can.

If you have fond memories of someone who served in WW II, I would love to share them as a commemoration to that Greatest Generation and those who are following in their footsteps for us now.  Please send your memories to me.  I hope you have the Merriest and most grateful Christmas ever.

Susan Rogers, your Educated Gypsy

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