SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Remembering on Memorial Day

Like many people, I always visit the graves of my father and

mother to place flowers on Memorial Day.

My dad, George, served during World War II with his brother,

Moses. It was a long and grueling service. My dad was in the 5th Army working

in the OSS and my uncle served on a battleship in the Pacific.

My dad did some writing when he was in the service and I

have some old photos — black and white but really a sepia — taken at the time

of him in uniform. But there isn’t much.

I tell my daughter and my son, even at his young age,

that they should keep journals to record details of their lives. They may not

seem important now, but when they get older, with children and grandchildren,

they will make for great reading and memories.

No one remembers everything. Documenting our life histories

is something we all should do.

What little I do know is that my dad and uncle, like many

Americans, enlisted after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

My dad was working as an accountant downtown and my uncle

was a chef at the Rolling Green Country Club in Arlington Heights. Before they

left, they had to put their affairs in order.

Their parents and siblings lived in Jerusalem, Palestine,

controlled by the British government. What happened in Europe and the Middle

East during the war was important.

I have a few documents that my dad saved, including a letter

from OSS chief General William J. Donovan thanking him for his service. Donovan

is considered the founder of the CIA.

We had a 45-rpm record that my dad sent from Europe to his

brothers in Jerusalem. That was considered high-tech at the time.

Although I no longer have it – and don’t have a record

player any more either – you could hear my dad’s voice telling his brothers and

sisters that he and Uncle Moses were both doing well and staying in touch as

best they could.

Dad did receive some basic medals and I have his ribbons. I

also have his ID card, which allowed him to enter the Army’s enlisted men’s

clubs as well as a ration card needed to get a meal.

It all puts meaning to Memorial Day, although I never did

get a chance to hear about it all from him directly, as he passed away when I

was 17 years old.

Dad didn’t land at Normandy or have to experience the horror

of watching his friends gunned down on the bloodied beach. I doubt that he ever

found himself in a position where he had to shoot the enemy dead.

I have even less information on my uncle, Moses, other than

some of the basics, like dates and locations. He died when I was very young in

the 1950s.

That’s why documenting these stories is so important.

Ancestry.com – which costs some $300 a year – is not necessary. You can put

together a database on your own, and there are many other free search services.

But you should get it done. You don’t have to write

everything all in one night. That would be daunting. Just buy a journal, number

each page, and just start writing whatever stories come to your mind. (Save a

few pages at the beginning of the journal to create an index later once it

fills, because once you start it will fill fast.)

You won’t regret it.

A few days before Sept. 11, 2001, I remember starting a

journal about life in general. And then everything hit the fan. It’s a

fascinating read of what happened in the weeks and months afterwards, things

that we think we would remember but that are easily forgotten.

Your experiences, and especially your family history, are

too important to forget.

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist and author. His

personal website is RayHanania.com. Email him at [email protected]

Ray Hanania’s column is just a fraction of the content

that appears in this week’s print edition of the Southwest News-Herald. Want to

get the all the news? Pick up the Southwest News-Herald on local newsstands for

just 75 cents a copy. For greater savings and convenience, call (708) 496-0265

during weekday business hours and order a subscription by mail, delivered each

week to your home or business.

Local News

Angel Williams, of South Carolina, enjoyed being able to phone home to his mom and his fiancé. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Brookfield VFW Post gives 45 Navy recruits a happy Thanksgiving Day

By Steve Metsch It had been about three months since Brittney Rodriguez sat down to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It’s not that the food is terrible at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in North Chicago, Rodriguez said. It’s just not as good as Mom’s cooking. “They have their days, but it’s not a home-cooked…

Team captain Zach Hayes holds the trophy as Coach Tim Racki and the Roadrunners celebrate the school’s fourth state football championship in nine seasons, and first since 2018. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth rally celebrates fourth state football championship

By Steve Metsch Two huge cheers rocked the Rooney Student Center at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park late Monday morning. The first was when Zach Hayes – joined by the coaches and teammates – walked in carrying the IHSA Class 5A state football championship trophy high over his head. The second was when school…

Members of Orland Park's Dance Company dance during Sunday's holiday parade. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park gets in the holiday spirit with parade and tree lighting

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park’s lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony has been going on for decades, but its holiday parade just completed its sophomore run. The second holiday parade kicked off the festivities on Sunday followed by Mayor Keith Pekau and a group of children pulling the switch to not only…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Pedestrian, 70, hit by car, dies crossing Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch A 70-year-old Bridgeview man died after he was hit by a car at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 8100 block of South Harlem Avenue, Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said. The man identified as Brian Callaghan was walking from the east side of Harlem to the west, Mancha said. Callaghan lived at Moraine…

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 1.57.20 PM

A Thanksgiving surprise

The kindergarteners at St. Daniel the Prophet School had a surprise visitor earlier this month–known to them as Army National Guard Sergeant Bryan Dudycha. But one student in the class knows him as Daddy; and when she saw him, Madison leapt into his arms, gleeful over his return from deployment, just in time for Thanksgiving.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound November 30, 2022

Mary Stanek

Hang out your socks for St. Nick

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Hang out those socks on the night of Monday, Dec. 5. St. Nicholas day is here on Tuesday, Dec. 6. St. Nick was known for selling all of his possessions and giving to the poor. He may…

Kathy Headley

Thanksgiving was fun, and delicious

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and happy as ours. As always, the aroma and taste of home cooking and holiday desserts were a big part of the day. I feel comfortable telling you where we picked up…

CRRNH_SweetSaluteRhineVFW_112322

A sweet salute to veterans

Rhine VFW Post 2729 members William Haas and Jerry Dipasquale survey some of the bags of candy, pastries and other treats given to the post earlier this month by the students of Sahs School in Central Stickney. The Sahs boys and girls also wrote personal letters and made patriotic posters expressing their thanks and appreciation…

Summit Trustee Aleco Julius (from left), Summit Trustee Sam Dardovski, Summit Fire Captain Anthony Anderson, Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz, Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez stand in front of the village Christmas tree. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights Christmas tree, holds last Neighborhood Watch for the year

By Carol McGowan Summit officials and residents were on hand November 17 for the lighting of the village Christmas tree in front of the police station on Archer Road. In what’s become an annual event the last couple of years, the tree is lit before the last Neighborhood Watch meeting for the year. There is…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Angel Williams, of South Carolina, enjoyed being able to phone home to his mom and his fiancé. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Brookfield VFW Post gives 45 Navy recruits a happy Thanksgiving Day

By Steve Metsch It had been about three months since Brittney Rodriguez sat down to enjoy a home-cooked meal. It’s not that the food is terrible at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Center in North Chicago, Rodriguez said. It’s just not as good as Mom’s cooking. “They have their days, but it’s not a home-cooked…

Team captain Zach Hayes holds the trophy as Coach Tim Racki and the Roadrunners celebrate the school’s fourth state football championship in nine seasons, and first since 2018. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Nazareth rally celebrates fourth state football championship

By Steve Metsch Two huge cheers rocked the Rooney Student Center at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park late Monday morning. The first was when Zach Hayes – joined by the coaches and teammates – walked in carrying the IHSA Class 5A state football championship trophy high over his head. The second was when school…

Members of Orland Park's Dance Company dance during Sunday's holiday parade. (Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park gets in the holiday spirit with parade and tree lighting

By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park’s lighting of the Christmas tree ceremony has been going on for decades, but its holiday parade just completed its sophomore run. The second holiday parade kicked off the festivities on Sunday followed by Mayor Keith Pekau and a group of children pulling the switch to not only…

bridgeview police logo - Copy

Pedestrian, 70, hit by car, dies crossing Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview

By Steve Metsch A 70-year-old Bridgeview man died after he was hit by a car at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the 8100 block of South Harlem Avenue, Police Chief Ricardo Mancha said. The man identified as Brian Callaghan was walking from the east side of Harlem to the west, Mancha said. Callaghan lived at Moraine…

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 1.57.20 PM

A Thanksgiving surprise

The kindergarteners at St. Daniel the Prophet School had a surprise visitor earlier this month–known to them as Army National Guard Sergeant Bryan Dudycha. But one student in the class knows him as Daddy; and when she saw him, Madison leapt into his arms, gleeful over his return from deployment, just in time for Thanksgiving.…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound November 30, 2022

Mary Stanek

Hang out your socks for St. Nick

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Hang out those socks on the night of Monday, Dec. 5. St. Nicholas day is here on Tuesday, Dec. 6. St. Nick was known for selling all of his possessions and giving to the poor. He may…

Kathy Headley

Thanksgiving was fun, and delicious

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun and happy as ours. As always, the aroma and taste of home cooking and holiday desserts were a big part of the day. I feel comfortable telling you where we picked up…

CRRNH_SweetSaluteRhineVFW_112322

A sweet salute to veterans

Rhine VFW Post 2729 members William Haas and Jerry Dipasquale survey some of the bags of candy, pastries and other treats given to the post earlier this month by the students of Sahs School in Central Stickney. The Sahs boys and girls also wrote personal letters and made patriotic posters expressing their thanks and appreciation…

Summit Trustee Aleco Julius (from left), Summit Trustee Sam Dardovski, Summit Fire Captain Anthony Anderson, Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz, Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez stand in front of the village Christmas tree. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights Christmas tree, holds last Neighborhood Watch for the year

By Carol McGowan Summit officials and residents were on hand November 17 for the lighting of the village Christmas tree in front of the police station on Archer Road. In what’s become an annual event the last couple of years, the tree is lit before the last Neighborhood Watch meeting for the year. There is…

DVN Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church House Ad
CRR NH Remax Villegas House Ad