A couple of weeks ago, Karl Mueller, past commander of our local American Legion post, phoned me to come down and chat with him, Frank and Shirley Miner, and Debbie Berndt about a Recognition Day for WWII vets, widows and widowers.
Being both a party animal and one who sometimes had difficulty recognizing himself after a good party, I was there in a flash.
It was a little different than I expected. Frank told how he had seen a program on one of the channels like C-Span, the History Channel, National Geographic or the like some months ago, showing a group of WWII vets, all disabled to some degree, who had been brought to Washington during opening ceremonies for the new World War II monument. They were mostly in wheelchairs and represented every region of our nation and its territories.
They were thrilled, but upon closer interview, one of the vets said something that Miner, a WWII Navy vet, cannot forget:
“This is wonderful, but why did it take so long to do this? So many of our buddies are gone now.”
Good question. The Vietnam Memorial, a splendid tribute, was done over a decade ago. I guess the fact that some 12 million went into our armed forces during WWII took more planning. However, Frank wants us to do a real good feed for our locals RIGHT NOW, before our ranks get too thinned.
Every one of our 61 vets in the Legion and any other local vets or widows or widowers of WWII service men or women, will be guests for a catered dinner at the Legion Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008.
Dave Curtis is going to cater, with help from volunteers who call organizers Berndt, 370-5176, or Shirley Miner, 378-2323. There will be no cost to those being honored, nor others who come with them. Only guaranteed seating is for the vets who will receive invitations if they are Legion members or who call Debbie. There will also be room for at least a hundred downstairs and outside.
Incidentally, it would be helpful if the Town of Friday Harbor would let the Legion put in wheelchair facilities at their patio area NOW. There should be some exceptions made on charging them $10,000 in advance for parking somewhere of no use to the Legion before they can use the permit obtained from the Planning Department.
The Legion spends thousands on scholarships, youth programs and shindigs like this … it’s not a retail business (non-profits deserve a little more consideration than the poor retailers get).
Frank Miner and Mueller are co-chairs and, along with Legion approval, are working up WWII music and all sorts of memorabilia, like Andrews Sisters songs, memorabilia from servicemen, etc. Give them a call.
Here are names of WWII vets still on the rolls of the post:
AHN, ANDERSON, BOURGAIZE, BREWER, BUCK, CANTRILL, CAVENAUGH, CHASE, CORRIE, CRAMER,
CURRIE, DAWES, DOLBEC, EVANS, FORBES, FOSTER, FRITZ, GLOEB, GUNTHER, HARTMAN,
HENDERSON, HOEPPNER, HOYT, JAMES, JENSEN, REX JOHNSON, AL JONES, HOWARD JONES,
LONG, LOUDEN, MADSEN, MANAHAN, MATSUMOTO, MCCUTCHEON, MCKNIGHT,
MEIDINGER, MINER, MOORE, MOYER, AL NASH, CHARLES NASH, NICHOLS, MARTY PERCICH,
PRICE, PYLE, RAUGHT, CARL ROBINSON, LAURENCE ROBINSON, ROWE, SANBORN,
SCHONBERGER, SETTLES, STODDARD, THORNDIKE, THORP, THREEWIT, HERB WARD, WEBB, WILDING, WILLIAMS, YORK.
You’re all invited.
Accompanying this column is a print I received from Howard Brodie, dear friend and famed war artist. It hangs on the wall above the desk in my home office. It was reprinted on the cover of Yank magazine the week of V-J Day.
Brodie did a quick sketch of this GI returning from the front lines who had just heard the war in Europe was over. He never had a chance to get his name. If you recognize him, invite him too.
Go with the F.L.O.W. (Ferry Lovers Of Washington).
— Contact Howard Schonberger at 378-5696 or firstname.lastname@example.org