Monday, May 27, 2024

Memorial Day 2024

 Memorial Day 2024 . . .

          . . . a story of hospitality and remembrance.

During World War II, for reasons that never were made clear to the locals, the U.S. Army set up a small training facility for combat engineers at an underutilized Texas Highway Department facility in my home town.  Dropped literally into the middle of nowhere, the soldiers didn't remain strangers for long.  The people of the community took these men from all over the USA under their wings, cooking them homemade meals, mending their clothes, inviting them to church socials, taking them to the movies, and giving them rides to larger towns.  My grandparents and four of their seven daughters, including my mother, took part in this.  Before they left for Europe, the local photographer took free photos for all of them.  He kept copies of the pictures along with the men's home addresses.  When the war ended, he contacted the families and learned that more than a dozen of them had lost their lives.  In the lobby of the town library, they placed pictures and stories about these men for everyone to remember.  As a small boy, I asked about them, and my grandmother told me,  "They weren't from here, but they were ours."  Today we will remember ten of these men.

We begin with Pfc. Arthur Brown, Jr. of Walhalla, South Carolina.  He was killed 
while repairing the strategic Remagen Bridge across the Rhine in March of 1945.


  1. Thank you for posting this moving tribute and rightly revived memory to these men of my parent's generation. So many of whom, including my uncle, did not return.

  2. This is a very nice posting, Jerry. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful tribute.

  4. Wonderful tribute to the veterans of our country, liberators of the innocent from an unspeakable and viscous tyranny.
    Your grandmother’s comment is spot on.
    My own grandmother and great grandmother got busy cooking for the boys in New Jersey. Their boys became acquainted with Hungarian and Polish cuisine, though for some the goulash was a bit too spicy.:) Grandad took some of the boys on excursions to New York City and Philadelphia and dragged others to church services at Blessed Sacrament whether they were Catholic or not.
    As great grandma said “ the boys deserve the best”….:)

    1. Thank you for adding your own family's experience. Nice story.

  5. Thank you for posting this.

    SB Dan

  6. Some links:

  7. Thank you for this heartfelt tribute to all those whose lives were taken in the defense of Democracy. I hope, in light of what's happening now in America, that we can keep our Democracy alive, and resist electing an authoritarian demagogue.