Peg’s arm reached into the mailbox and pulled out this letter.
The return address reads:
Headquarters Far East Air Forces Office of the Commanding General
Her 21-year-old son Morgan was in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was not allowed to reveal his location. The letter could only mean that he had been killed. In the image above, you can see that Peg tore it open.
“November 20, 1945
“Dear Mrs. Molloy:
“Recently your son, Staff Sergeant Morgan P. Molloy, was decorated with the Air Medal…[for] courageous service…meritorious achievement…hostile contact…combat operations…bombing missions.
“His has been a very real contribution to victory and peace.
“How proud I am to have your son in my command…young Americans of such courage and resourcefulness…the deciding factor in our country’s overwhelming victory…
“You, Mrs. Molloy, have every reason to share that pride and gratification.”
George C. Kenney General, United States Army Commanding
Fifty years later, my mother took it out of his drawer, framed it and hung it on the family room wall. I asked my father, now 90, if he felt courageous as a B-25 tail gunner, especially during the ferocious Battle of Okinawa.
[Before every mission] I was scared. But you did what you were told, no matter what. Maybe you felt courage afterwards.
Courage and resourcefulness in the face of danger or death. In this way, my father and other war veterans have made “a very real contribution to victory and peace.” That’s why we celebrate Veteran’s Day–for the gifts of victory and peace.
Talk with your children about how to honor our veterans in 2014.