“Streetcar Named Desire” is one of Tennessee Williams’ most famous plays, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948. It was an instant hit when it appeared on stage in 1947. Marlin Brando and Vivian Leigh lit up the screen with their beauty and stellar acting in the 1951 film. The tragic Blanche DeBois played by Leigh had a very famous line:
“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers!”
My son had a puppy follow him home from Little League, over and over until we just kept her as our dog. Because she depended on our kindness to give her a home, her name became, Blanche.
The last few weeks, I have had quite a few strangers come into my life showing unbelievable kindness to me. I had discovered or been pointed to a discrepancy on my brother’s headstone to the airborne unit he was a member of when he jumped, was wounded, and died on the ship to from France to England. His stone says 17 Airborne Division and our family has always said 82 Airborne.
Wonderful, kind strangers have come into my life taking up my cause to research and definitively set the historical record straight. All this happened 74 years ago which is more than a lifetime. My nephew is going to photograph a document that hopefully will shed light on his unit. IT is a letter from General Gavin awarding George a Bronze Star for bravery in December 1944, 6 months after his death. It should have his unit listed.
Cooper, is the person who noticed the 17 instead of 82 on the stone which you can see if you zoom in on the cross on the website: http://www.aparatroopersfaith.org. She also told me that the soldiers were buried in temporary graves until the cemeteries were ready for the reburials. Cooper introduced me to Eric who for 5 long years worked to correct the information on his great uncle’s stone in the cemetery . The death date was incorrect. This might seem very insignificant for many but for families, even members who didn’t know the deceased, it is important and for perpetuity. Eric volunteered to use his experience and knowledge to help me on this journey.
And there is Sandra who has a group on Facebook, 507th in Memorial. There are records that identify the planes with the list of men who jumped in a platoon, their gear and location. Other records of the medical conditions. The challenge is finding them. Tracey a docent in Cambridge Cemetery is helping as well and has been and continues to be so kind.
Then my son, who is not a stranger but who has been kind, encouraging, and interested in his great Uncle George created the website which has been the reason I have met many of these kind, caring people.
Eric sent me this picture this morning. . . . . Thanks to all the strangers I will most likely never meet who care about history, our fallen heroes, my brother George, and me.
God’s light shines through all of you !
Strangers, yes; but we owe so much to George and his companions.
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Lovely thought, thanks Don!
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