I don't remember ever talking to Pépère about the war. I didn't see him a whole lot anyhow, and I was told that he didn't like to discuss it so I never attempted to bring it up. I never even saw his medals until his funeral.
All I know is a summary of what he did and what part of Europe he fought in. Much of what he experienced over there went to the grave with him, and perhaps that's the way it should be. We can't ever forget what happened in WWII, but the individual hardships and tragedies, terror, boredom, relief, discomfort, whatever -- the personal experiences and details -- that doesn't necessarily need to be passed on, and there is really no way to properly convey it anyhow.
So while I may be curious, I know all I need to know: that Pépère went over and played his small role to help us all, and suffered lasting effects because of it. That's why I will think about him today.