Tag Archives | World War 2

Memorial Day 2010 – Three Purple Hearts

My dad received three purple hearts during World War II. The last injury was from a grenade lobbed by a Japanese soldier on Okinawa who didn’t know the war was over. He carried that piece of shrapnel in his chest until he died in 1993. My mom remembers that he called her from the hospital, to save her and her parents […]

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Memorial Day 2010 – “If only life could be tied, I should have tied Bernie’s life”

     Shortly after my uncle, Bernard Polehn, was killed in the Philippines in August, 1945, my mother found that her grief was keenly shared by a young Filipina woman named Susan Mones. (Susan mistakenly addresses my mother as “Kenneth” – actually my father’s name.) Natividad, Pangasinan Philippine Islands Oct. 29, 1945   Dear Kenneth, […]

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Memorial Day 2010 – The Greatest of Love

I wrote this shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 I have a photograph that I keep put away. It is of a young man who I’ve never met because he died in 1945, 15 years before I was born. It shows a smiling teenager in an army uniform. Although I’ve never met […]

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