PART 1 Last week in his State of the Union (SOTU) address, President Trump recognized a number of “ordinary citizens” in the gallery, continuing the practice begun by President Reagan in 1982. This year the group included four members and veterans of the military or their families: Tony Rankins who served in the US Army in Afghanistan, suffered from PTSD and drug addiction but who … Continue reading Recognized in a SOTU, Then What?
Just over one thousand men. That’s how many veterans the Veterans Administration estimates still remain of the 72,000 who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, according to an article by the Panama Herald in May 2019. One of the three-war-veterans was one-hundred-year-old US Air Force Col. Charles McGee (pictured above) who helped toss the coin for the 54th Super Bowl (and 100th NFL season) in … Continue reading The Three-War Survivor's League
Despite a desire to serve their country in any capacity they could, at the start of the Second World War the military was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist. If they did enlist local draft boards often passed blacks over in favor of white recruits, resulting in fewer than 4,000 black troops and a mere dozen black officers in the ranks in late 1941. Eventually, … Continue reading The King and the War
75 years after the war ended my hometown unveiled a memorial to World War II veterans, and veterans of all wars. On the anniversary of D-Day a crowd (yes, a crowd) in relatively tiny Cumming, Georgia braved the near-winter breezes and just a sprinkling of sun to view the ceremony outside city hall on 100 Main Street. Perhaps fittingly, for today’s generation, the sculpture recognized … Continue reading WWII on Main Street
Historians have traced the origin of dog tags to ancient times. Roman Legionnaires wore a lead emblem bearing their name on a rope they tied around their necks. The Chinese used them in the mid 1800s and the Prussians in the Franco Prussian War in the 1870s. But in America, Civil War soldiers resorted to writing their names on scraps of paper they carried in … Continue reading On Veterans Day: Keepsakes
A couple of weeks ago, three local WWII veterans gathered around a table at a bookstore in Acworth, Georgia, to chat with guests. The three, Jack Smith, Dick Bailey, and Bob Mero sat together with several of their photographs, citations, medals, books, and other mementos displayed on the long table in front of them. I’ve been fortunate to befriend Jack and Dick over the last … Continue reading Bob Mero in Normandy and Georgia
Thousands of stories from World War II veterans have been recorded through the efforts of programs such as the Veterans History Project. Still they represent just a small number of the thousands of stories untold. Recently, the Atlanta History Center shared one interesting tale, this, from Iris Fensom Magid. Iris tells of life in London during WWII. She lived through the Blitz and distinctly remembers … Continue reading Tales from the UK Homefront