Sean Higgins’s Grandfather, RIP

Sean Higgins’s Grandfather, RIP May 29, 2012

The logo for Jeremy Lott’s Diary is modeled on the logo for a stand-alone blog that I once owned and sort of operated. I say “sort of” because, at my request, a friend named Sean Higgins took it over. He did all of the posting there for years. This created problems for Sean. People were constantly asking him, “Wait, why are you blogging on Is that a pen name or something?” We eventually had to include a picture of both of us so that he could say “No, look, there’s Jeremy and there I am standing next to him.”

I say this by way of introduction to Patheos readers. I will undoubtedly post links to Sean’s pieces here from time to time. Maybe he’ll even take this blog over at some point. Today, Sean gives us an obituary of his grandfather, Robert “Bob” Higgins, a World War II vet from the European theater who “came within an inch of death at least five times in the Big One, all but one of those times during the siege” of Bastogne.

Sean explains the importance of that siege: “Control of Bastogne was key to the Battle of Bulge: Literally all the usable roads ran through it.” So of course the Germans “surrounded the town and demanded surrender.” But Bob Higgins’s unit wasn’t budging: “[The Germans] received a one-word response from the 101st: ‘Nuts.’ An American medic helpfully translated this into German as ‘Du kannst zum Teufel gehen,’ which, roughly speaking, means, ‘You can go to Hell.'”

As Bob Higgins explained it to his grandson, “We were paratroopers. Landing behind enemy lines was what we were trained for, so when the Germans said, ‘We have you surrounded,’ we thought, ‘So?’ We were always surrounded.”

From Sean’s description, his grandfather sounds like one hell of a guy. Always sorry to see one of those old soldiers go.

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