My Friend Paris
Contributed by John Seavers
Most of us know someone involved in World War II. Mine was one of my best friends in high school – a guy with a novel first name – Paris. Paris Palmer, was personable, exuberant, and had great dreams. An unkind fate sent him to Corregidor in the Philippines.
Our Navy was devastated at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The enemy had free run of the Western Pacific. We were unable to supply our defenders of Corregidor. Out of ammunition, food, and medicine, they were forced to surrender April 9, 1942.
They were marched along a small jungle dirt road, constantly beaten and tortured. Nearly half of them were murdered. My friend, Paris, died this way. Ever since, their ordeal has been known as "The Death March to Bataan." His bones were never found, never returned to our hometown of Middlebury, Vermont. There is no grave, no marker for my friend Paris.
My wife and I received a notice from The Senior Citizens League that we could have a name entered into the "World War II Memorial Registry of Remembrances." This was the opportunity I needed to memorialize my friend Paris.
Thanks to the generation that fought and won World War II, we are not living under the flag of a totalitarian state. Our flag of 50 stars and 13 stripes flies every day, assuring us of our freedom and our opportunities, and reminds us of their sacrifices for all. From deep within our hearts, we sincerely say thank you to those whose lives were taken from them abruptly.
Editors Note: During the war, John Seavers was a technical representative for Pratt and Whitney Co., makers of aircraft engines. Born 1920, Mr. Seavers is a Notch Baby.