Memorial Day at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial Margraten, 25 May 2008
Four families, all members of the American World War II Orphans Network (AWON), attended to the Memorial Day observances at the Margraten Cemetery this year.
The AWON is dedicated to
our Fathers and to the service of their families.
More than a million fathers served in World War II. Leaving their wives and children, they traveled overseas, where many paid the highest price in service to their country.
Some are still there, buried in foreign cemeteries. Others are still missing or were never recovered, and some of those were lost or buried at sea. Many are memorialized on the Walls of the Missing, examples of which may be found at a number of overseas cemeteries and in home town cemeteries across America.
The deaths of more than
406,000 men left an estimated 183,000 American children fatherless, and totally
unaware that so many others share the same condition.
Some of these children (and grandchildren) have already found the American WWII Orphans Network, but most don't know where to look. It is this latter group the AWON seeks.
Most of these fatherless children are now in their fifties and sixties – and whether they found us or whether we found them, they are finally being brought together for the first time by the American WWII Orphans Network.
The AWON families visiting the Margraten Memorial Day ceremonies in 2008 are :
Jim McCollum and his wife and family, Jim is the son of :
Clarence E. McCollum
Gilbert M. Bush
Raymond W. Williams
Gerrie Morenski and daughter Kathleen. Gerrie is the daughter of :
David L. Conway