Many of the readers and friends and family of Homefolks U.S.A. will remember Dec. 7, 1941. It was a Sunday morning and a very tragic thing was taking place. Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor, and World War II was about to begin.
Many Franklin County people would be involved in this great war. So many would be drafted, and many people from Franklin County would not wait to be drafted but would volunteer to do their part to defeat this emergency that was determined to destroy this part of the world.
Many people from our country would fight until the bitter end and be able to return home – safe but probably never the same. Many of our Franklin County people would not make it back; they would lose their lives in this terrible war.
I don’t know the exact number who lost their lives. I know a young Mr. Colburn would be buried at sea, and many would be killed on the battlefield. Several from Franklin County would be prisoners of war. A Mr. Hardy was one who would be captured and spend a long time as a prisoner. He endured so much during this stay in prison, and the stories I have read make me sad that a person would have to endure that kind of punishment.
Mr. Farley was another person who was captured by the Japanese, and the pain and suffering he endured was so terrible. I can’t image anyone who could inflict so much cruel punishment on another individual.
Mr. Mike Freeland, one of the first owners of W.K.A.X Radio here in Russellville, was with the 82nd Airborne Division those many years, but he was able to return home, and he wrote a book about his time in the service. He was a combat medic. He was in the “Battle of the Bulge” and the Normandy Invasion. His book, titled ‘Blood River to Berlin,’ tells of the tragic things that took place during those years.
Last week I received a call from the Freeland family, and they informed me Mike had only a few hours to live. He died that same day, only two hours after I received the call. Mike was 94 years old when he left this world.
We are so fortunate to enjoy the freedom we have because of the “Greatest Generation.” Let us never take these blessings for granted.
Til next time,
Thought for the Day
Please Lord, let there never be another World War.