VE Day

I was teaching American history to 8th graders in  the 1980s . The principal of the small school walked into my classroom one day with a package .  There was a Gold Star flag on top . ARMY Gallivan stuff 020   She had five brothers , all of them in the military during WWII , a star for each , sewn on silk .  One gold star indicates that one of them had been  killed in action . ARMY Gallivan stuff 003 ” This is what was in his pockets , ” she said .     “This is what the Army sent home  .”    She told me that she would like me to have it .  What is  to be said after that .   I told her it was an honor . ARMY Gallivan stuff 004                       ARMY Gallivan stuff 011   ARMY Gallivan stuff 001                         There is an insurance ID card , a sewing kit , religious memorabilia , a couple of “Yank” reprints , patches .  There is a map from his Army unit charting the unit’s path toward Germany . ARMY Gallivan stuff 005   ARMY Gallivan stuff 010   ARMY Gallivan stuff 018   The map , not a working map ,  but kind of a morale -promotional  souvenir map, is marked with the Victory-in- Europe date .  He had this in his pocket when he was killed . Yeah . Think about it . ARMY Gallivan stuff 023   ARMY Gallivan stuff 024   ARMY Gallivan stuff 027       ARMY Gallivan stuff 014   ARMY Gallivan stuff 025     ARMY Gallivan stuff 026   After the war was officially over , this  soldier was killed in action .   ARMY Gallivan stuff 013   ARMY Gallivan stuff 016   What had been  sent home easily fit  into a small sack , ARMY Gallivan stuff 029 but the results of what he and countless others did is boundless and immeasurable .


Filed under military

4 responses to “VE Day

  1. That is so sad. I mean every death is sad, but that just is so hard to accept.

    • Yes. Thanks for the comment . Kind of overwhelming to think about war deaths , mass shootings, individual killings , etc. My father had a brother killed soon after Pearl Harbor . Was it any easier on his family since it was early in our involvement in the war ? Was it harder to have someone die after the war actually ended ? Thank God I don’t have to know first hand , I guess .

  2. Outstanding treasures!

    • With it I also have another map that this soldier , Richard Gallivan , had of Europe . He had penciled in his route day to day . And then , of course , the line stops . I didn’t want to put this on my blog . Somehow it seemed an invasion of privacy or a little disrespectful . Too personal , maybe . I didn’t use his name for similar reasons . Thanks for stopping by .

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