Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

416th Men Still Missing in Action (ABMC Wall of the Missing) 

 Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives to preserve all the things that we hold dear about life in America.  There are far too many of them to even attempt to know or name them all, but we will concentrate here today on ten young men.  They are the 416th Bomb Group crew members who are lost in time.  Ten of the members of this Group who died in combat still do not yet have a final resting place.  Six of them were lost on one tragic mission.  That might seem like a small number when one contemplates the enormity of World War II, but to each of those ten families it was and remains a cross to bear.  Technically, the search for these men is ongoing, but as a practical matter all have since been declared "non-recoverable" by the U.S. Government.  Fortunately, there are many here and abroad who choose not to accept that finality and the search for them goes on. 

Raines, Arthur A. Jr.     2Lt    669    10Apr44    ABMC Cambridge Wall
Bender, Glenn J.           SSgt   669    10Apr44   ABMC Cambridge Wall
Nielsen, Jack O.           SSgt   669    10Apr44   ABMC Cambridge Wall
Cramsie, William E.     1Lt     671    10Apr44   ABMC Cambridge Wall
Henshaw, Charles R.    SSgt   671    10Apr44   ABMC Cambridge Wall
Steward, Jack               SSgt   671    10Apr44   ABMC Cambridge Wall
Cruze, Raymond K.     1Lt     668    18Jul44     ABMC Cambridge Wall
Murphy, Thomas A.     1Lt     670    1 Jan 45    ABMC Ardennes Wall
Kiker, Charles M.         Sgt     669    14Jan45    ABMC Lorraine Wall
Griffith, John J. Jr.        Sgt     668    18Mar45   ABMC Lorraine Wall

Friday, April 10, 2015

Remembering William Edward Cramsie

There are a number of days on the calendar that have special meaning to each of us.  Some have special meaning to most of us.  One of those days with special meaning to me personally is April 10th.  It was on this day in 1944 that William Edward Cramsie died in a valliant fight to defend freedom.  I didn't even know his name until 2005 when by chance I became the steward of Bill Cramsie's West Point class ring.  That is an interesting story in itself, but not for this post.  What is important on this day is that we remember those brilliant young men who had their whole lives before them and willingly gave them up in defense of Freedom.  There is no way to place a value on that.  Since 2005, I have come to love Bill Cramsie for what he stood for.   It is a great honor for me to mention his name and to talk with those who knew him personally.  Humanity is challenged almost daily, and maybe even moreso now than then, by one scourge or another.  in the face of that, we need to be true to our principles like Bill was.  It isn't always easy but it is necessary.

Bill Cramsie grew up in the foothills of the mountains dividing California from Nevada.  he was a leader from day one.  His dream was to become an aviator and to attend West Point.  He did that.  Everyone that I have met who knew Bill Cramsie, and there have been more than a few, had the same opinion of him.  Bill was a friendly, easy going and conscientious young man.  He made friends without even trying.  He graduated from West Point in the top 10% of his class, but never was pretentious or ostentatious to those he served with, especially not to the enlisted personnel who worked with him.

We might all model our lives after that of Bill Cramsie and think about the effect that we have on the world around us.  If we do nothing but satisfy our own needs, we are the enemy of civilization.  We cannot all be heroes, like Bill, but we can all do our best to make the world a better place to live.

Wall of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery in England