Stephen fought for the red, white and blue. 

An Ode to Stephen

He fought

when the world

was at war.


A Pennsylvanian native

with Polish blood

in his veins,

he fought.


With a wife at home,

the eldest of all

his siblings,

he fought.


Only twenty-two

when he died

at Cherbourg.


A life yet to live,

taken from him

by the beast of war.


Was he proud?

He should be.

He slayed

the dragon of war.

Together, with his comrades

he brought home victory.

The Boston Daily Globe was a newspaper popular in new England and as its namesake suggests, Boston.

This newspaper headline was a part of the Youngstown Vindicator, a newspaper that circulated in Ohio near Pennsylvania.

I have learned a lot about the hardships of war through this project. Stephen Pszeniczka lost his life when he was only 22 years old, a sacrifice millions of men have made for this country. My research thoroughly solidified the idea that freedom is not free: it comes at a cost. The phrase "Land of the Free because of the Brave" holds more water now. If I had the chance to speak with Stephen I would first thank him for what he did in Cherbourg and D-Day. Then I would ask what war was like. As a society, we glorify war with games we play as children, through movies and books, but I would like a chance to ask him what it was actually like to leave everything you know behind to fight for your country. Throughout this process the most important source I used were the documents I found on Specifically, the census was useful in determining Stephen's early life experiences and his family member's names. Above all, this project shed a new light on what gratitude means to me. My Pap was a Korean war vet with a purple heart a medal of valor, (along with other medals), and reading through Stephen's experience makes me appreciate what he did for this country tenfold more. Stephen Pszenicka, thank you for your service. I hope this project does you justice.