Commentary: D-Day veteran micro-documentary premieres June 6, 2020

Reporter Jacob Granneman spoke with D-Day vet, Joseph Meiners, now that interview has been made right into a mini documentary

VANCOUVER — There have been 76 June the sixths since 1944. I ponder what number of of them I by no means considered. I take into consideration everybody now. Because of Joe. 

Jacob Granneman
Jacob Granneman

As some readers will bear in mind, shortly after D-Day of 2019, I wrote a narrative about my buddy Alex and I’s journey to interview Joseph Meiners, who’s a veteran of the Normandy seashores and the D-Day invasion of WWII. 

I’m happy to announce and tease the discharge of the miniature documentary undertaking that has now been produced from that journey and interview. At the beginning of subsequent week, on June 6,, with companions elsewhere in Washington, is honored to inform Joe’s story.

Joseph Meiners is shown here at his home in Nezperce, Idaho. Photo by Alex McFeron
Joseph Meiners is proven right here at his house in Nezperce, Idaho. Photo by Alex McFeron

Joe was born and raised in Idaho, very near Nezperce the place he was residing after I spoke with him. He was presupposed to be a baseball star, and was even recruited by the Red Sox. Then he was drafted within the second world warfare in opposition to Nazi Germany. 

He married his spouse on depart from bootcamp, honeymooned within the humble Lewiston, Idaho after which returned to coaching for warfare. His spouse would uncover she was pregnant with their son whereas Joe was in Europe shortly after D-Day. 

Joe landed on the seashores and noticed bloodshed and loss of life past my comprehension. He instructed me he witnessed a wounded man’s coronary heart beating within the open air. He needed to save as many wounded as he may, in order that they solely helped these they knew would survive. 

“My wife, I hesitated about telling her everything. I know if I hadn’t been a good Christian, I would have been off the deep end,” Joe mentioned. “It’s just something in the past. That’s what I try to do to bring them back to it, to see what can happen to you in a war like that. We’re [always] at war with some country. We’re at war with ourselves.”

He ought to have died at the least 3 times. But he didn’t. He was shot at, buried alive even pronounced useless of a warmth stroke, however got here again to life. He believes there is just one clarification: his relationship with Jesus. 

When we visited with Joe final yr, I bear in mind him telling us how he was “ready to meet his Lord.” He was 95 on the time. He made it to 96.

In December of 2019, Joe went to be reunited along with his spouse, his dad and mom, his son, and all his brothers in arms who died on European soil. He lastly is ready to see his Jesus; head to head. 

This reporter was filming Christmas lights for after I bought the message about Joe passing. I had known as him on Veterans Day, however wasn’t capable of join. I’ll be wholly clear, I practically cried in my automobile.

(From left to right), reporter Jacob Granneman, WWII and D-Day veteran Joseph Meiners, and Vancouver photographer Alex McFeron. Photo courtesy of Jacob Granneman
(From left to proper), reporter Jacob Granneman, WWII and D-Day veteran Joseph Meiners, and Vancouver photographer Alex McFeron. Photo courtesy of Jacob Granneman

Joe impacted my life in a approach I didn’t anticipate. It is my hope, he’ll do the identical for you with this movie. 

“Meeting Joe was like receiving a gift I never knew I needed,” mentioned Vancouver-based photographer, Alex McFeron. “He opened his home to two strangers, and we left best friends. It’s difficult to put into words the impact Joe has had on my life ever since, but I will never forget meeting him and the love he had for others. What a man of God.”

I’ll depart you with yet one more transient story to peak your curiosity on this man who lived via a substantial amount of ache, solely to reside via extra, however nonetheless stay joyful. 

After the warfare, Joe went again to farming along with his household in Idaho. His son who was born through the warfare was 18 by now. One evening, coyotes have been howling and making a raucous noise across the property, in addition to scary the canines.

Joe went out with a shotgun to scare them off. It didn’t work. So his son got here out.

Joe’s son was planning to go to the 1964 World’s Fair in Seattle with a buddy the following day earlier than persevering with to Bible College to be a worship chief. 

His son proceeded to say, “It’s ok dad. I’ll handle this.” He performed his guitar across the perimeter of the property. Calmly. Peacefully. 

“The third time around, it was absolutely quiet,” Joe recalled. 

The subsequent day, his son was killed in a head-on collision enroute to varsity. Joe prayed for him to get up on the hospital for hours, however he by no means did. Joe walked to the highest of a hill close to his house after that. He pounded his first into the earth.

“God, why are you doing this to me?” he mentioned. 

In the ache he discovered peace. When I arrived at his house a notice held on the door to the impact of: “This is the home of Joe Meiners. God is with me here, and I pray for every soul who comes in. Just know God loves you and I would love to pray for you.”

D-Day. The Battle of the Bulge. WWII. Death. Loss. It appears nothing may separate Joe from loving individuals. I skilled it first hand. As we left that weekend final yr, he mentioned to Alex and I:

“You are both my dear friends … my lifelong friends. I love you guys.”

Watch the micro-documentary, “Joe Was There” on subsequent week. 

Also learn:

Commentary: Spending D-Day with a man who was there reporter Jacob Granneman had the chance to spend the 75th anniversary of D-Day this month with a person who was there and served all through World W…

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