Like most families in America, the Shaffer family tree has had its fair share of heroes dating back to the revolutionary war and Lt. Henry Shaffer. It is impossible to capture the entirety of every veteran and their specific contribution. However we will attempt to honor all the Shaffer heroes. There has been a Shaffer in every major conflict that the U.S. has found itself since the revolutionary war.
“All gave some, some gave all”
Two notable heroes in the Homer Franklin lineage that paid the ultimate price for freedom were Corp. Noah Webster Shaffer in the Civil War, and Pvt. Paul Melvin Shaffer in WWII. There are many others, but Paul and Noah had the unfortunate luck of being involved in two of the most notable battles in the history of the US, namely Hürtgen Forest in Germany, and Fredericksburg VA.
The records that survive Noah are mostly posthumous. Paul’s records are letters for the 7 months leading up to the time of his death and 2 months after. We know little of Noah’s personal life and relationships, but a lot about his military life. Paul, on the other hand, showed us the human side of the soldier, but we know little of the conflict specifics of his circumstance.
The gravity of thinking of not just these two heroes that gave their lives, but of the thousands lost in just these two battles that they fought and died. We read about soldiers losing their lives every day it seems in war, but we forget the human side – the personal side – and the families they left behind in order to protect our way of life. We cannot thank our military everywhere enough for what they do and give for us to be able to remain Americans.
God Rest their souls.