Weekend of August 23, 2003
On the left is my Dad's best
friend, Mel Esary, 93, who was elected Association President
at this reunion. On the right is Al DeLong, 85 a Colonel in the 358th HQ Regiment of Dad's
95th Division. Both are aware that my Dad was the only Liaison Piper Cub pilot that was KIA
in the division. These men are pure gold!
The background is that my three
daughters (Kathleen, Elaine, and Mary Clare) went with me
to the 54th reunion of Dad's 95th Division, but we came to Cincinatti from all directions --
from Charlottesville, Terre Haute, IN, Nashville, TN, and Danville, IL.
They couldn't believe that
every one of the veterans they talked to knew or knew about
their grandpa. It was quite an experience for them. The memories of these men
had a profound effect on my daughters, who thought our family was the only one
to carry my dad's memory into the future. Now they know better,
I've experienced this reunion
three times before, but I still get a high when I'm with the WWII
veterans of the 95th Infantry Division. I've become the division's kid – and at 63 years of age,
that's quite an honor from men who are all my special heroes!
The photo was provided by Susan
in memory of her Dad, 1LT James F. (Nick) Nichols, KIA 5 March 45