Saturday, June 06, 2009

Remembering at Princeton

This is a guest post, appropriate to the day, from regular reader Doug J.; the pics available at the link are well worth it:

Last weekend I attended my Princeton 35th Reunion. The centerpiece of Princeton Reunions is a procession of each alumni class, in chronological order, down a campus street lined by younger classes to the cheers of the younger alumni. It’s called the "P-Rade." Each class has its own uniform, and each major reunion class (the five-year multiples) has a theme.

The showstopper this year at the P-Rade was the Class of ‘44 tribute to its service during WWII and to its KIA. The class was preceded in the procession by THE US Army Band, "Pershing’s Own," by a line of WWII vehicles, and by WWII reenactors. Then, class members marched holding placards with their collective class service records. "89% served." "Army" 300-some odd. "Navy," X number. Marines, Y number. Army Air Corps. Coast Guard. OSS. Free French. Free Belgians. Canadian Royal Army. Merchant Marines. Etc.

There followed the placard "22 Died in Service." (Out of a class of maybe 600-700.) And each of the KIA was marked by a placard with his Freshman class photo, his name, his branch, and the year and place where he was killed. "Ploesti 1944." "Battle of the Bulge 1944." "CBI 1944." "Guam 1945." and so on.

It had quite an impact. BK has kindly loaded my photos of the event onto photobucket, accessible at this link. BK, thanks.

To the Class of ‘44, as to all their contemporaries, well done. And well-remembered.

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

What a contrast. It was an era in which the intellectual elites did not consider themselves above that sort of thing.

We have lived such easy lives since 1945 or so.