No article I have written in my long career has gotten as much heart-felt feedback as this 2003 Veterans Day cover story in USA TODAY, “WWII veterans’ kids keep reunions, memories alive.” The piece was about how my generation of baby boomers began to ask ask questions about what their parents did during World War II.
In my case, the inquiry was prompted by my job as a reporter for USA TODAY when
“I accompanied D-Day veterans to France for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Dad was already gone a year by then. Yet I had his yellowed Army discharge papers. No unit was listed, but I knew he fixed B-29 bombers on Guam. Eventually, I found the 29th Bomb Group.”
I would eventually attend a reunion of the 29th Bomb Group in Gettysburg, Pa., with my great photojournalist colleague Eileen Blass, also the daughter of a World War II vet and my “partner in crime” in Normandy and other far-flung places. The reunion would turn out to be an amazing experience that would end with an amazing twist having to do with this photo and my bald father’s “thick curly hair.”
But you’ll have to read about all that here.
And be sure to listen to not only me but other children of World War II veterans and some of the former airmen themselves in this great photo and audio gallery put together by Eileen and called “Dad’s War: Boomers Seek Keys To Unlock WWII’s Past.”