An old man and a little eight-year-old girl walked into a basement after an afternoon of picking pears. The little girl was me and the old man was my Nono.(Nono is the Italian word for grandfather) We climbed the stairs up into the house and sat down to lunch. “Nono”, I said “ I saw a picture of you a few days ago in a photo book. You were in a uniform. Why?” “ I was in the Navy.” he said, taking a sip of his coffee. Nono had a tattoo on his one arm and, until then , I never knew why. As I grew older and changed like the leaves on the pear tree, he told me more. Some stories were funny and some were sad and some just didn’t make sense because I hadn’t learned about World War Two. I was about eleven before I knew the story of World War Two and understood some of the things he had said fully. This passed summer ( 2007) while my family and I were on vacation , he passed away. I was very sad. At his funeral , a veteran read a poem for him “ A Veteran Died Today”, folded a flag, and blew taps. His brother George, also a veteran, said that he served his country with all his heart. I’m almost fourteen now and I know the meaning of his stories and, why, at the end of every grace, he would passionately slap the table and say “ God Bless America" To him, America was so many things. It was not only what he protected but America was also a beacon of hope for him and his family. America was a place to prosper and live a better life. So, for him, I am an American patriot.