Remembering Veterans Day

by Rick Olson

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”   Winston Churchill

Edward wells AllordI find it relatively easy to remember those veterans, especially family members and loved ones who have taken up arms in defense of this nation. Often times, the conditions can be tough, families are separated and financial challenges abound, not to mention when we lose that person on the battlefields.

It is veterans day today that I share the story of one Private Edward W, Allord. 393rd Regiment, 1st Battalion, 99th Infantry Division, C Company.  Private Allord was a family man. He had a wife and three very young daughters, named Priscilla, Katherine and Dorothy. When the call came the 29-year-old Private Allord left his job as a carpenter in December of 1944…Left his wife Priscilla May…and his three young girls, Prisclla, Katherine and Dorothy, off to fight the Nazis in Germany.

On March 17, 1945 near Ramagen, while engaged in heavy fighting with the ArmeeKorps LIII, under the command of Capt. Willi Bratge, Private Allord was killed in action, leaving behind his wife and three very young children. His last letter home was written March 11, 1945 from Germany.

Pvt. Edward W. Allord Marker at Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium

Pvt. Edward W. Allord Marker at Henri-Chapelle Cemetery, Belgium

The widowed Mrs. Allord, now facing the heartache of losing her husband on the battlefield, was now on her own to raise the three girls.  Private Edward Wells Allord, Service Number 31376665 was laid to rest at the American War Cemetery Henri-Chapelle, near Léige Belgium. Plot D, Row 15, Grave 42.

Had Private Allord made it home from the war, my life might have been different. For I would have called him “Grampa.” Yes, Private Edward Wells Allord was my mother’s (Katherine) father.

In 1949, my grandmother remarried. She married David A. Ely, also a veteran of World War II. A Sergeant and a Tank Commander who was mortally wounded.  He is the only granddad I ever knew. Indeed, I loved him as a grandson loves his grandfather, but the loss of my grandfather often has me wondering what would be different had he made it back.

As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps myself, my first thoughts were of my son who is now a member of this cadre who has served. Today is not only a day to hold hallowed those who served, but also for those who gave the ultimate blood and treasure in defending our Republic.

This family has been touched by every conflict since World War I. My family is just but one family who has suffered losses and casualties of war…There are many others like mine. I am reminded of this when I see my grandfathers name listed on the various memorials and plaques around Jaffrey New Hampshire. When his name is read aloud at memorial services. When my mom and my aunt place a wreath of the memorial in the Jaffrey oval.

Today, I ask you to not only honor those who served, but take time to honor those who have fallen and gave so much. Winston Churchill was right. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Leave a Comment

  • JP

    Thank you for your Service Rick. Semper Fi!

  • Katie Olson

    I am so proud that you wrote this story. I have tears in my eyes….love you so much, Mom

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