PONDERING: Purple Heart UpdateThursday, July 4, 2013 12:00
Back in May I shared with all of you my amazing story of being involved in returning a lost Purple Heart to the family of the fallen soldier it had been awarded to. Along with that proud moment also came disappointment, when my work and those of other volunteers in the Genealogy Room at our local library was disregarded and credit given to those who didn’t do the research.
I have some more news to pass along, news I’m very happy to share.
About a month ago when I went in for my usual volunteering day, waiting for me was a particularly large envelope. I do get mail addressed to me at times, since I’m the one in charge of obituary requests and the like. But I never get manila envelopes this gigantic.
So, needless to say, I was quite curious, though I did expect the usual request from someone doing their family research. When I opened it up, to say I was thoroughly surprised by the contents is an understatement.
Before I go further, I do need to say that a couple of commenters on my original post were right. The reporter who reported this bit of news is the one who twisted the facts to suit her purposes. So I owe an apology to those students whom I felt at that time were taking credit for our work. That reporter, however, is another story. Yes, it probably made the newscast more interesting to some viewers, believing the students were the ones who found the soldier’s family. I still maintain honesty and relaying facts should have been at least part of the story. One sentence mentioning the Genealogy Room wouldn’t have hurt a darned thing.
Inside was a giant Certificate of Recognition from the California Legislature. The State Assembly, to be exact. Signed by our local assemblyman.
Yep. I was shocked, to say the least.
And realized that those students did know we had helped out in locating the soldier’s next of kin. They’d been manipulated just as I had been by that reporter. It would be interesting to see all of the interviews she conducted and what was left on the cutting room floor.
But enough on her. She’s gotten too much air time as it is.
I do wish they hadn’t placed my name on the certificate, because I wasn’t the only one involved. But I was the contact for Sequoia Genealogical Society, who sponsors the Genealogy Room, so that’s the name they went with. But we all work together there to help folks discover their ancestors, and this time it was a privilege for us to do the opposite for one of our servicemen.
Also enclosed was a very nice note from the president of the high school’s archives, thanking us for our help, another verification the students knew exactly what was going on at that time. And these kids have manners. You don’t see many thank you notes around nowadays from youngsters.
Of course, they have honor. Taking the time to return this medal is not something a lot of kids are into or would do. I doubt it’s something I would have been interested in at that age. So the note below was a joy to receive. I have blocked out names since I have no way of making contact to let them know I’m using their names. But I had to share it, and this is the best way.
So all’s well that ends well, so to speak. This is a highlight in my genealogical journey that I won’t forget anytime soon. Thanks for sharing it with me.