Memorial Day is a day in which we take time to remember, celebrate, and honor those who have died in the name of Freedom. I'd like to say a few words about my great-uncle Oscar. Although I never met him, I can tell from his picture that he was a great man. He died in WWII at the age of 22. Even though he died before my parents were even born, I miss him. "He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives--in a way that humbles the undertaking of most men."
Oscar was posthumously awared the Purple Heart in November 1946. The following is his story:
Oscar enlisted in the Army Air Corps shorly after World War II began. After recieving his wings and accepting the commission as Second Lieutenant he began training in B-24 bombers. He was next assigned to the 15th Air Force and stationed in Italy. In October 1944, Oscar's plane was shot down over Austria. He was declared M.I.A. One year later, Oscar's father received a letter that no parent wants to read.
"With deepest regret, I have learned that an official determination has been made of the death of your son who has been missing in action in Europe. Word has come to me that Lt. R****** earnestly undertook cadet training which he successfully completed with an excellent academic record. As a capable officer, he took his responsibilities seriously and faithfully executed assignments. His performance as a skillful pilot, respected by associates, was in keeping with the finest traditions of this command. I hope that the memory of your son's courageous sacrifice for his Country will comfort you. My heartfelt sympathy is offered to you and other members of the family."
Memorial Day History