As with so many small town newspapers, I wanted to do something in this week's issue to for Veterans Day (which is Sunday). A friend who's in his 70s loaned me a copy of a commemorative book published over 60 years ago by the local American Legion post which included the photos and service records of most of the local men and women who served in World War II.
A complete of all who served is impossible, but this book has over 1000 entries and is the single best local source for that kind of record. Since I had it in my hands temporarily I resolved to type a list of names and it as a roll of honor in the paper (it took up three pages).
When I first laid my hands on the book, I noticed there was a small separate section in the back. I was taken aback when I flipped to it and saw what it was. We sometimes forget how much social progress has been made in this country over the years
The "negro" veterans were segregated in the back pages of the book and not included with the whites.
It took me essentially a full eight-hour day to type the alphabetical list of names. I started at the front, and when I finished with the "white" veterans, I typed the other names - but as I typed them I put all the black veterans' names in the correct alphabetical order in the list.
I completed one list of ALL the veterans, and that's the way it went in the paper. Everyone together, from A to Z, like it should have been done 60 years ago.
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