When Nancy and I were growing up in Gettysburg in the Forties, the most important event of that decade was World War II which ended on VJ Day, August 15, 1945. By the spring of 1948, our lives had returned to normal, but an article in The Gettysburg Times that year reminded us once again of the cost of that war.
On March 6, the Times reported that the bodies of three men from Adams County who were killed in WWII would arrive in the United States in a few days.
T/Sgt. Richard J Gross of East Berlin was killed in August of 1943 while serving with the Air Force in New Guinea. Pvt. Maurice Small of Gettysburg, was 27 when he was killed in action in Normandy on July 13, 1944, and Pvt. George Spertzel of York Springs, was 25 when he was KIA in France on July 31, 1944, and
Adams County records indicate that 3,100 men and women served in World War II, and 110 men from the County were among the 419,000 citizens of the United States who lost their lives in that conflict.
Those buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery are remembered in annual Memorial Day Ceremonies, and each December a Christmas Wreath is placed on the headstones of veterans of World War II as well as others who have served in the armed forces of the United States..
Nancy and I, along with friends and family, are honored to participate in the Christmas Wreath Project each year.