It seems hard to believe that WW II ended 65 years ago. The surrender of Japan in August 1945, however, didn’t mean the immediate return to normalcy. With millions in the armed forces, the logistics to de-militarize and bring the troops home were as challenging as preparing for battle.
But around Christmas 1945, many, many families were rejoicing as husbands, sons, neighbors and certainly some daughters were discharged from active duty. It was such a marvelous Christmas present both to the soldiers who in many instances hadn't seen their families and friends since Pearl Harbor.
Discharged during that 1945 Christmas week were Cpl. Tech. James Russell Nichols, Jarvis Stewart Barton MoMM3-C, Byron Mitchell Clark MM2-C, Cpl. Tech. Frederick Houghton Galvin, P.F.C. Alfred Henry Royce and St. Sgt. Warren Lee Hedrick which brought the total to 119 – not quite half of our local men and women from East Hampton who had been in active service in the armed forces.
Returning Vet's - Christmas 1945
This was also a bittersweet time for several families whose sons paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat. East Hampton was not immune and had seen directly the loss of 6 young men and a score of others with relatives here, and all were mourned with a solemn respect for their sacrifice and for the battle waged against tyranny, dictators and atrocities against mankind.
As American’s we are blessed in so many ways. Often taking for granted our liberty and lifestyles, we remain the envy of oppressed and downtrodden throughout the world - the best hope for freedom and peace! A blessing yes, but also a curse, as American’s sons and daughters still rise to defend those freedoms so many others long for. So please, let us not forget those many on active duty in far off places like Afghanistan, Iraq, or South Korea as we gather with family and friends at this time of year.
From me and my family, I truly wish you and your families and people everywhere the best in this Holiday Season. May joy, good health, happiness and prosperity reign, and, may peace prevail.