Memorial Day is often thought of as the beginning of summer, although the official start is still three weeks away. And this weekend, after the long months of pandemic-induced isolation, many Americans will gather the kids and head to the beach or the mountains with bicycles strapped to the bumper and the trunk full of beach blankets. With amusement parks and barbecue bake offs calling, … Continue reading Memorial Day x 3 in Georgia
Aaron, Hubert Charles Titus is the first name listed on the memorial at Pearl Harbor. Zwarun, Jr, Michael. is the last. Two very different men, as no doubt all 1,177 who perished aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 were. Yet they shared something in common then, both were young, twenty-somethings, both had chosen to join the navy, both were seamen, both perished. And they share … Continue reading Pearl Harbor: A to Z
At 0300 on June 25, 1943, a jeep crept quietly through the dark to one of the Niessen huts at Thorpe Abbotts airfield. The sergeant on board, entered, reached the bunk of Lt. Stanley O. Morrison placed a hand on Morrison’s shoulder and nudged him awake. Not that anyone in the barracks was asleep. Each of the dozen or more men lying on his own … Continue reading The Luck of the Draw. The Roll of the Dice.
“All in all I would like to be appreciated as a man” Recently Virginia Tech and the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a project to transcribe the handwritten comments of a thousands of soldiers who responded to a survey during and in the aftermath of World War II. The results were published in 1950 under the title The American Soldier, a four volume series by … Continue reading In Their Own Words
Georgia Men Among the Crew of the Ill-fated USS Indianapolis in 1945 Seventy-five years ago, only minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, the Imperial Japanese submarine I-58 launched two torpedoes in the dark waters of the south Pacific. They sped toward the USS Indianapolis striking her in the bow and at midship. The story of what transpired following the attack is well known to navy veterans and WWII historians and … Continue reading The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years
The Neyland home, a bright white house with a long narrow front porch, sits back from the street and is surrounded by the last of spring’s pink and lavender blooms. It’s a quiet street, two blocks off a thoroughfare in Marietta, Georgia, and four thousand miles from where James once stood guard and witnessed the start of the invasion of Normandy on a night in … Continue reading A Witness to the Start of D-Day
Despite the airwaves being dominated by news of the pandemic, I hope that people everywhere remember that 2020 is the 75th anniversary of another global event—the end of World War Two. I like to think that with so many efforts underway to memorialize the events, battles, and the people who served that it would be impossible to escape knowing the significance of 2020. I am … Continue reading One of 400,000
Am I the only one to notice? It seems I cannot scroll through another Facebook news, or Twitter feed, or Youtube channel without seeing a post or video of a 100-year-old WWII veteran celebrating life. I thought, in these dire times engendered by the coronavirus, it might be worth highlighting a few of these remarkable people. Each and every one has an inspirational and uplifting … Continue reading At the Century Mark
Part 2 As promised, this is a follow up to my February 20 blog post, “Recognized in a SOTU, Then What?” in which I wrote about individuals with military affiliations who have been recognized during a state of the union address. Today, I’ll note the handful of women recognized for their lives as wives of military figures and as citizens who made a difference in … Continue reading Recognized in a SOTU: Military Wives
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?