NOW:53045:USA01489
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01489
48°
H 48° L 45°
Partly Cloudy | 7MPH

Thoughts about Veterans Day, 2012

Nov. 14, 2012

Last Sunday, Nov. 11, was Veterans Day, which honors our country's armed service veterans.

Prior to 1954, this holiday was known as Armistice Day to memorialize the end of combat in World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. The armistice notably went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, to make this holiday a time to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Brookfield has been home to veterans who have served in all of this nation's wars. Of particular note is that a veteran of the American Revolution from Massachusetts, Nathan Hatch, who enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 moved here when he was in his mid-80s with two of his sons who came to farm. Nathan Hatch died in 1847 at the age of 90 and his remains are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery on Brookfield Road just north of Brookfield Academy.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in honoring a group of World War II veterans who held a reunion in Brookfield. Nine men who served on a small escort carrier, the USS Gambier Bay, were in Brookfield to mark the 68th anniversary of the Battle off Samar, which was a major part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands in October, 1944. The USS Gambier Bay was part of a 13 ship Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3") that encountered a much more powerful Japanese naval force. Taffy 3 fought so valiantly to protect the American landings in the Philippines that the admiral of the Japanese fleet thought he had encountered a much larger force and ordered his fleet to withdraw.

This battle is particularly significant to me because my father, Vernon Ponto, was on another small escort carrier, the USS St. Lo, which was part of Taffy 3. Both the Gambier Bay and the St. Lo were sunk on Oct. 25, 1944, during what noted historian Samuel Eliot Morison described as "the most gallant naval action in our history." Despite significant losses, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was a decisive victory for our country and effectively eliminated the threat posed by the Japanese Navy in World War II. Taffy 3 was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in the Battle off Samar and today there is a beautiful memorial to Taffy 3 near Harbor Drive in San Diego.

Last Friday, I participated in a Veterans Day Recognition Program at Brookfield Elementary School, along with three members of our Police Honor Guard. The school did an excellent job with the program and helped make this national holiday a significant one for these elementary school children. A particularly important aspect of the program is that veterans who are parents and grandparents of Brookfield Elementary students came and were recognized and thanked for their service.

I hope all of us take the opportunity to thank our veterans for their service.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Police: Girl, 10, says she was coerced into sending naked photos of herself to stranger 4/15

» Local seniors find friendship, romance through music 4/15

» Brookfield East teens build Honda 350 from salvaged motorcycle parts 4/14

» Driver of stolen car stopped in Brookfield 4/14

» Waukesha County Board OKs recycling program with Milwaukee Updated:  4/9

» Fingerprints on Pringles can lead police to robbery suspect 4/8

» Run for the Hills takes another lap 4/8

» Elmbrook schools see rise in test scores for math, reading 4/8

» Elmbrook schools, Brookfield police warn against 'Junior/Senior wars' and 'paranoia' games 4/8

» Wandrey to lead Central's boys hoops program 4/7

» Woman uses sister's identity to avoid arrest in Elm Grove 4/2

» Town of Brookfield supervisors keep seats 4/1

» Ponto keeps mayoral post; incumbent aldermen win, too 4/1

» A new trustee joins Elm Grove in uncontested race 4/1

» Body found in Tosa identified as James Kieckbusch, 57 4/1

» Body found at border of Elm Grove and Wauwatosa Updated:  4/1

» Loaded handgun found left in Elmbrook Church bathroom 3/28

» Ponto's campaign funding three times that of Speaker 3/26

» Crews clear crash that closed left westbound lane of I-94 at Calhoun Road Updated:  3/20

» Police called when man mistakenly sends zombie app selfie to woman 3/20

» Kratoska to run as write-in for Elmbrook at-large seat 3/18

» Discussion of Underground Railroad on tap Monday at Brookfield library 3/16

» Oak Creek defense shuts down Lancers, 46-25 3/15

» Residents safe but pets lost in Brookfield house fire 3/14

» Central girls beat DSHA for third time, 45-43 3/13

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss
Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Local Business Directory

CONNECT