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OUR WWII STORY: Remembering veterans, their battles on Legion website

Aug 26 2021
The American Legion

Honor and remembrance is such a focal point of The American Legion’s purpose that an entire section of the national website is devoted to it. Legion.org/honor features everything from resources to get earned medals and find military reunions, to tell your own story of service via the Legiontown site.

Major events in World War II are represented by sub-sections on the Battle of the Bulge, and on some of those who died in the Normandy invasion. And the section has links to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans and the National Park Service’s Pearl Harbor site.

The section also features a series of American Legion video interviews with Medal of Honor recipients, including one with Hershel “Woody” Williams, who received his for his actions on Iwo Jima in 1944. Williams, a West Virginia native and PUFL member of American Legion Post 177 in Barboursville, grew up on a dairy farm; the outer world only intruded when “we were told that a people by the name of Japanese, that I had never heard (of), were trying to take our freedom.” He joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in the Pacific – first on Guam, then Iwo Jima. He was on the island for 34 of the 36 days of the battle. He discusses his efforts as a flamethrower operator, which garnered him the award, and life with the nation’s highest military honor: “I just don’t wear it to wear it – there has got to be a purpose behind it.”