|On Veterans, Burtons Got It Right
Dear Bay Weekly:
Bill Burtons column of June 1 [Vol. VIII, No. 22: In Memory of Heroes] touched many memories. Although I am a few years older than Bill, his recollections are right on the money. I actually marched for several years in my small West Virginia towns Decoration Day parade along with my Boy Scout Troop. A few Civil War veterans were still alive then but rode in a 30s Ford convertible that my dad, the local dealer, provided. Dad delivered few convertibles but always ordered one to have on hand in late May for the event. The parade ended at the local cemetery where all veterans grave sites Revolutionary, Civil War and World War I were decorated with small national and Confederate flags that we Scouts had helped put out before.
The World War II veteran I especially remember is William Bill White, who died on D-Day at Omaha Beach. Bill was the assistant scoutmaster and a role model for us younger boys. Bills father was the president of the local college, and Bill joined the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor. He had completed infantry and officers candidate school and was a captain in 1944. I can clearly see him in his uniform today as when he was home on leave before the invasion of France. His mother, Grace Yoke White, published a small book of poems in 1953 where she wrote these lines about her son;
From a cottage white a mother small
Gave to the world a son her all,
Today, he lies in a foreign land,
Felled by a ruthless Wars stern hand.
As with Henry Beckwith, Bill has no family living today.
One of the best accounts I have read of truly forgotten heroes those Marines who bore the brunt of the Pacific Island campaigns is William Manchesters Good-bye Darkness, a memoir of his wartime service in the Raggedy Ass Marines. The 5th served our country every bit as well as the Battling Bastards of Bastone. If anyone believes that the invasion of the Japanese home islands would not have taken a huge toll in American lives, one only has to read Manchesters Book.
Ed Johnson, Owings
Water Taxi Says Thanks
Dear Bay Weekly:
We thoroughly enjoyed reading your special issue, 101 Ways to Have Fun: An Indispensable Guide to Summer on the Bay [June 29].
Thank you so much for including our Deale Water Taxi on page 14. We have been in operation for 15 years, and we are happy to say business is good. We would also like to thank our sponsors for making the water taxi rides free.
Jim and Judy Carney, Deale Water Taxi
Dept. of Corrections
Janice Lynch Schuster wishes to amend the record, noting that her husbands sailboat [Reflections: Vol. VIII, No. 30; July 27-Aug. 2] cost him $250, not $25.