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/
Chicago Writers Association unveiled its 2015-2016 Speakers Bureau. If you are looking for a speaker about women in the military during WWII, please keep me in mind. I am listed on the Speakers Bureau in the History section: The Journey of Mollie’s War : WACs and WWII.
Today, Mom would have been 99. We miss you, Mom and love you. Thinking back to her last birthday celebration on July 19, 2011 and happy times with family. Mom was so excited to be able to tell her story in “Mollie’s War” as a WAC in WWII
It’s been a wonderful and productive Women’s History month for “Mollie’s War” as we’ve traveled across Illinois from Johnsburg to Belleville to Batavia and lots of places in between telling Mollie’s story and the history of the women who served in the Army during WWII. I’ve met lots of interesting people and so many people who have a connection to WWII. One woman told about her mother who graduated high school during WWII and was given a temporary teaching certificate so that she could teach in her small Illinois town where they needed teachers. Another woman told me about her career as a WAC and how it turned into a career in civilian life. A man talked about being a history teacher and not knowing very much about the WACs and what they did in the military. Some female college students who were returning Veterans were just fascinated by Mollie’s story. Several people commented that they did not know that WACs went overseas. For me it was a real treat to speak to an Army Reserve unit in Forest Park. Meeting these Soldiers and interacting with them about my mother’s story made me so appreciate all the sacrifices that my mother and all of these Soldiers make every day.
I had a wonderful time presenting “Mollie’s War” to Autumn Green at Wright Campus a few days ago. All of the WWII Veterans in attendance told me how much they enjoyed it. One of the women who had been a WAAC/WAC said how relevant it was for her and brought back so many memories. She was someone whose skills learned in the military helped her with a career in data processing… and she became the head of data progressing for a large company in Oregon. (Data processing—that was a long time ago!) She bought a copy of the book for her daughter.
Today would have been my parent’s 69th anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. Their love story was a story for all time….
My mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer met my dad, Jack Schaffer, after the end of World War II. She went on a blind date with Jack on New Year’s Eve 1945 which was set up by his sister who believed they would be a perfect match.
“After their second date, Mollie said to Jack, ‘For two cents, I’d marry you.'” Jack promptly gave Mollie two cents and within three weeks of their first date, they were married in Chicago.
They remained married for 54 years until Jack’s death in 2000 at the age of 92. Mollie passed away in April 2012 at the age of 95.