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May 31, 1945.




May 31, 1945

Memorial Day in Germany

Dear Mother + Dad,

Yesterday Memorial Day was a very busy day for me. First of all in the morning I helped out Lt. (He was a florist from Morristown) make a big white cross of flowers on a background of ever greens. It took almost all morning, but was well worth the effort. Ten feet high and six feet acrosed.

Looking somewhat like this (illustration). We transported it to the edge of the forest where the Memorial Services was to be held. And set it up with a pine trees and snow capped mountains for a background.

The scene with the hole Battalion formed was very impressive. ( Illustration)

The major opening the ceremony said “We have gathered here to honor on this day those 25 men who came over seas with us, who we leave here.” Yes 25 of over 700 who I came over with are now dead in Italy, France and Germany.

Some of these boys were on the guns and were killed when we bombed by german planes. Yes those same guns you saw at Bragg. Others died of natural causes and some of accidents in cars and from drowning, etc. 25 out of over 700 isn’t too bad though. This day we honor them with prayer, salaute and words. Our Col. said “We watched them go and carried on their way on and on till Victory” There was then a minute of silent prayer, with the strains of “My Country Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty” played in the background. Then the firing squad fired three volleys while every one stood at attention. Then Tops and the names of the men who died were read. This closed the program and I was soon taking a sun bath on the sun deck. Still thinking of the hour before and the names I knew.

I was the Battalion offical photographer for the occasion and took pictures of the hole thing at the request of the Major. Some with a regular press camera tripod and all. While everyones heads were bowed I think I got the best shots, with the roll of color film.

Love,

Bill

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