I am excited to be part of the Illinois Humanities Board of Directors Reception for Legislators in Springfield bringing “Mollie’s War” to the Illinois State Library.
As we complete another Women’s History month telling Mollie’s story, I am touched by all of the comments and stories that I have heard along the way. Everyone seems to have a link to WWII. A woman in Yorkville talked about wanting her 14 year old granddaughter to learn about the history of the WACs in WWII. It was so neat to meet a woman who was a WAC in Frankfurt, Germany in the 1950’s. I enjoyed hearing from the men who served in WWII–and seeing the replica of a plane that one of the men flew. Just yesterday at the Railroad Retirement Board Workplace Diversity committee program for Women’s History month, a woman told me the story of her mother’s service as a WAAC (a year before my mother) stationed in some of the places where my mother was stationed. We traveled the state from Palatine to Mattoon and lots of places in between!
I had a wonderful time presenting my program, The Journey to Mollie’s War, to the Eli Skinner DAR meeting on Thursday (March 3) during Women’s History Month. I was so touched when they honored my mother’s story and her memory with their Women in American History award for her remarkable life of service to her country and family.
We had a great time at the National WWII Museum! The Museum is such a fascinating experience. I highly recommend it to everyone when you visit New Orleans. I only wish that my parents were still alive to see this wonderful tribute to the men and women who served in WWII.
It was so nice to talk with the patrons milling about the store. I enjoyed meeting the woman who donated her father’s helmet to the museum after his death a few years ago—it’s the helmet with the bullet hole. There was another woman who talked about her 89 year old friend who was a WAC. There was a gentleman visiting from Alaska. There was a couple from Washington DC who were active at the Holocaust Museum. There were lots of stories. Meeting the patrons, hearing their stories and sharing my mother’s story was the “icing on the cake” for our visit.
Looking forward to our visit to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans in January. It should be a fascinating time. I will be meeting with some of the staff.
We had an amazing time as we spent the past week celebrating Veterans Day this year traveling from Clarendon Hills to McHenry and lots of places in between bringing Mollie’s story and that of the women who served in the Army in WWII.. We met WWII Veterans, Korean War Veterans, Viet Nam Veterans and the children of these Veterans. There was an older woman who talked about her father who enlisted in WWI and was on a ship when the Armistice was declared–and so his ship turned around and came home. There was the woman who talked about her mother being a British war bride. Her sister was born in England but she was born in the United States. There was the man who talked about working in Army Intelligence. There was a high school student who was writing a paper about the WACs. And then there are always the people who tell me that I inspired them to go home and look at their parents’ stuff–and organize it. And finally my middle school niece, Cassandra, who called me because she was writing a paper about a Veteran and wanted to hear about my mother. All in all it was a very memorable week.
Today is Veterans Day. Let’s take a moment to thank all Veterans both male and female for their service and sacrifice so that we can continue to live our lives in freedom.
Please join me as we celebrate Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11 at the Clarendon Hills Historical Society. The program which honors the women who served in WWII (and Mollie’s story) begins at 10 AM at the Clarendon Hills Village Hall at 1 No. Prospect Avenue in Clarendon Hills. This program is being sponsored by the Road Scholar Bureau of the Illinois Humanities Council. http://clarendonhillshistory.org/
If you are looking for a holiday gift that is a good read, Mollie’s War is listed in the 2015 Holiday Catalog from McFarland Publishers. It is in the Military History section on page 34. http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/holiday-2015/