Sunday, May 28, 2017

Then and Now

A year ago Sister Mary Therese Egan's brother, Jack, died in little Franklin, PA 60 miles south of Erie. Unknown to the family, thousands of miles away in Holland, a man named Felix de Klein found the obituary online and wondered if this was the Egan family he had been searching for. As a hobby and a goodwill gesture to the American soldiers of WWII for helping to save Holland from occupation, Felix walks the WWII war fields searching for memorabilia of the many men who died there. Whenever he finds something he does all that he can to find family members and return the memorabilia to them.

Felix had found a Miraculous medal engraved "Joseph P. Egan," Sister Mary Therese's 19 year old paratrooper brother who died of wounds received in October 1944 in the Market Garden battles in the Netherlands. Needless to say, Mary Therese, her brother Tom and other family members were thrilled to receive the initial email and the medal and piece of Joe's parachute. Felix reminded the family that Stephen Spielberg's movie, "The Band of Brothers" was about this very battle.

Buried for 70 years, a medal and piece of a parachute were returned to the Egan family as the result of the findings of a metal detector in a field in Holland that was the site of a US field hospital.

And back home on a much more peaceful Memorial Day weekend, at our Presque Isle State Park, a young boy was being taught how to fish by his mother! May he never have to fight in a war and risk losing his life or of returning home but psychologically scarred, as so many vets are.