Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day

I wrote this originally back in 2011 and I feel today is good day to reblog it.  My Mac was named for his uncle who was killed in WWII shortly before he was born.

Today is Veteran's  Day and we say thank you to all the veterans who have served this country.  I have no relatives who served in World War I, my grandfathers were too young.  In World War II I had uncles from both sides of the family who served, but not my father, bad eye sight (which I inherited), and thankfully all of them made it home.
Mac's family was not so lucky, he lost an uncle in World War II, his uncle Mac who he is named after.  He had served in the South Pacific, met a girl in Australia, got engaged, and then near the end of the war he was killed.  Below is the letter his commanding officer sent to his mother.
Mrs. Mary Hernandez,
927 Watkins St. ,
Hayward, Calif.

Dear Mrs. Hernandez:

     Your son, Corporal Modesto Hernandez, served in this battalion since February, 1942.  He worked in the message center, and I always saw him several times a day.  I knew him quite well.
     On March 20, 1945, we made the assault landing on the beach at Zamboanga.  We immediately began to shoot at the Japs and they fired on us with artillery all through the day.  About five o'clock in the evening one of the shells burst right in front of the dugout where Modesto was working.  It killed several of our boys and wounded many others.  A fragment flew into the dugout and killed your son instantly.
     He was buried in the United States Armed Forces Cemetery No.1 Zamboanga, Mindenao, Phillippine Islands, on March 11, 1945 with full military honors.  The services were conducted by Father Terwood, Catholic Chaplain to the 41st Division of Artillery.  The  Father knew Modesto quite well.
     Your son served in battles at Salamana, New Guinea, Hollandia, Biak Island, Dutch New Guinea and Zamboanga, P.I.  He was very brave in combat under enemy fire and always performed all of his duties in an exemplary manner.  He was willing, cheerful, industrious and efficient as a soldier.  Everyone in this battalion knew him and liked him.  We called him "Shorty."
     We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you at this time.  You may be justly proud of the fine record your son made in the Army and the splendid service he rendered to our country.  We who were friends and fellow soldiers with Modesto in combat will always remember him with affection.

                                                         Yours sincerely,
                                                         Ralph E. Cole
                                                         Lt. Col. F. A.
                                                         Comdg.  205th F. A. Bn.

Mac's Mother told me that it broke her mother's heart when Mac (his name was Modesto, named for a family friend, but everyone called him Mac) was killed  and I can well understand.
My Mac spent 21 years in the Army and each day I'm grateful that he didn't have to serve in a war.
So I say thank you to all those who've served this country


  1. This is a very touching tribute. I am at a loss for words. Pat

  2. Thank you Mac, thank you Mac's dear Uncle. This is a wonderful tribute to them and to all Veterans. Thank you for sharing this story.

  3. So poignant to read a letter such as this as we remember all those who have served for us. It's a lovely letter, obviously written by someone who knew him, so it has a personal touch. His family, like so many other families, must have been heartbroken.

  4. What a beautiful letter and tribute to your uncle. What a horrible thing war is. My dad served in WWII in the Philippines also and his letters home are precious to me. Thank you to Mac for serving.

  5. What a terrible loss for both his family and the young girl in Australia to whom he was engaged - lives cut too short and dreams unfulfilled.

  6. Such a sad but lovely letter and post today.
    I happy you and Mac found each other.

    cheers, parsnip

  7. What a lovely, but also sad post. My grandad fought in WW2 and came home safely, such bravery, it’s hard to imagine xx

  8. This is so sad. Thank you Mac for your service.

  9. This is very touching.. I felt tears in my eyes..

  10. Thank you to your Mac! That was a beautiful but sad letter that Mac's Grandmother received...I can only imagine her sorrow.
    They say my Grandmother never got over her son's death in 1944...she died ten years later:(

  11. Tears came as I read this. Thank you so much for sharing. It was our Remembrance Day yesterday and I was able to watch the whole service on TV. Almost three hours of wonderful tributes.


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