From 1900 until the late 1930's the armies of the world believed that massed infantry charges, heavy artillery, and static defenses could dominate and control any battlefield. But on the morning of September 1st, 1939 the world was forever changed as Germany invaded Poland and executed its first "Blitzkrieg" or "Lightning attack", quickly crushing Polish resistance. This act would bring about the most devastating war known in the history of mankind.
This page is dedicated to the memory of my father, Joseph Morrison Harley, who died on April 10th, 1945, in Thamesburck, Germany. Like many other orphans of WWII, I was met with a "wall of silence" when it came to understanding the life of my father. Throughout my childhood I always felt an emptyness and loss which I never understood, because I was raised in a close family with a loving mother and a wonderful step-father. It wasn't until recently, after connecting up with AMERICAN WAR ORPHAN'S NETWORK and reading of other War Orphan's experiences that I realized that this was a common thread among us.
In 1996 I went to the Netherlands to Margraten, Holland to the AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL to visit my father's gravesite. It was overwhelming to see the vast sea of white crosses that seemed to extend beyond the horizon...so many lives lost...and entwined within each of those lives is the far-reaching effects upon their families.
For additional reading about the Military and WWII, visit:
American Battle Monuments WWII Honor Roll
The War Generations
The Perils of War
The World at War
World War II: 1939-1945
The U.S. Army Homepage
The Greatest Generation: WWII
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Courtesy of Patriotic Midi Music