Letters to the Editor May 27, 2011

Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Recent Fawn Morris accolades bring to mind another memory

Seeing the recent accolades for Fawn Morris ("Fawn Morris will be remembered for efforts in behalf of county fair," May 11) gave me incentive to write this remembrance of her also.

In high school she was very skillful at "jitterbugging." The dance floor would clear to watch her and her brother "Juke" dance to the music of the Big Band sounds that came from our rented jukebox.

Mary Jean Goecker

Crescent City

Let's not forget Merchant Marines on the upcoming Memorial Day

With Memorial Day rapidly approaching I wanted to take a moment to

remind our community about a group of forgotten heroes, the brave men

who served in the Merchant Marines during WWII, as well as the men and

women that continue to assist our country with their service to the

Merchant Marines.

The Merchant Marines were the first to feel the bite of the Germans

in WWII, with the MS City of Rayville being the first U.S. ship to be

sunk by a German mine in Nov 1940. In the German attack on Bari, Italy,

Dec. 2, 1943, also known as the second Pearl Harbor, 17 Allied Merchant

ships were sunk. The Merchant Marines were present at every invasion

from Okinawa to Normandy.

In all 1,500 Merchant Marine ships were sunk during WWII. The

Merchant Marines also suffered the highest per capita loss of life of

any branch of the American Military, one in 26 Mariners were killed.

At the beginning of WWII there were 55,000 Merchant Marines and the

number grew to over 250,000. The Merchant Marine was responsible for

accompanying ships though danger-filled waters, as well as the delivery

of goods and supplies. They provided support during the Battle of the

Bulge, and every other battle, fighting alongside our Army and Navy.

They have supported our country in every major war including Iraq in

2003; yet seem to receive no recognition for their service.

Over the years many attempts to gain recognition and benefits for

these forgotten veterans have been made, but with minimal success; a

thank you note and lapel pin from President Truman, and a favorable

ruling in a suit brought by three torpedoed mariners. However, most

Americans have no idea of the sacrifices made by these heroes for our

country.

Please join me in saying thank you to these veterans. Few remain but

all deserve our gratitude. Thank you for your service and welcome home.

For more information about the Merchant Marines and their

contribution to our country's safety and security you can go to

usmm.org.

Barbara J. Lee

Crescent City

13994497
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