As a kid, most people look up to someone in their family and many times even find a hero there. I know my first hero was my grandfather, when I was younger it was because we always went fishing together and he was always so happy to see any of the grandkids. When I got older I started to recognize what an amazing man he was and then after he passed more started to come out about his days in World War II and my respect for him continues to grow still today. It is the stories of the men and women of World War II that inspire so many family members to want to know more about the battles, the glories and the hardships that came with that war. So many young men and women signing up to defend their country in whatever way possible, they truly are the ‘Greatest Generation.’
When people come to Fredericksburg and tour the museum they will probably see a World War II veteran with a ‘special guest’ name tag and he will almost definitely be accompanied by proud family members. Every year at the annual symposium, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day celebrations, and any other special event at the museum, there will be families of WWII veterans posing with dad or grandpa for a picture or bragging about what he did in the war. A month ago today, the museum hosted a regional premiere of the new HBO series ‘The Pacific’ with a book-signing that afternoon featuring WWII veterans Sid Phillips and RV Burgin. Both of them had family members with them who were glowing with honor to be related to such heroes. It truly is a powerful feeling to see people who weren’t on those islands or in those landing craft but still feel so strongly about keeping those stories and memories alive.
Well, now the museum has an opportunity for those family members to be part of an association that promises to honor that legacy. Membership for Sons and Daughters of WWII Veterans is slated to begin January 1, 2011. The organization is a hereditary society that will certify descendants of an American veteran of WWII. These genealogical records will become part of the Nimitz Education and Research Center for future historians and genealogists to access. Besides the physical records being maintained here at the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, on-line access will be provided through the International Genealogical Index website - Family Search.
This assures that through family members, names and stories will live on for generations to come and history won’t be lost. For more information on how to become a charter member of this organization, visit http://www.nimitz-museum.org/SonsAndDaughters.asp