A 50th Anniversary Rememberance of WWII
Southwest Louisiana Veterans Remember
For 50 years after World War II, veterans of Southwest Louisiana were virtually ignored. Records of their involvement in that war were almost non-existent. It was a time of "War Hibernation" with war memories lying dormant, waiting for the right time to come forward and become a vital par tof our history. That time came during the 50th anniversary celebration of World War II, when everyone suddenly realized that our veterans were quietly slipping away to resting places under marble headstones, their stories of involvement in World War II soon to be forever lost to history.
And so, in 1991 I began recording their stories for a series of articles which I wrote for the Lake Charles American Press, never dreaming that this would become a full-time project, stretching nearly five years.
I spent endless hours researching, delving through old family scrapbooks, hounding our genealogical librarians -- Shirley Burwell, Anna Hayes and Jeanne Farque -- reading old newspapers, studying endless World War II books and going through veterans files and records. After interviewing thousands of Southwest Louisiana veterans, I managed to record the stories of almost 4000 of them. But I missed many more, whom I could not locate information on. My apologies to them. My sincere hope is that someday, someone will take up the torch and finish this work.
Today we recognize how important it is to remember these veterans and the enormous contributions they made to our history. They left warm, loving homes and went off to fight a war they neighbor started, nor understood. They did it because they loved freedom, they loved their country, and they were loyal, even to the point of death. Becuase of them we live in a free land today.
And so the purpose of these two volumes about Southwest Louisiana Veterans of World War II is to keep their memories alive to record them so that they will forever be a part of the pages of Southwest Louisiana's history. May their memories live forever in the hearts of their fellowmen.