Nacogdoches organizer calling all World War II veterans

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -  A grassroots effort is underway to recognize August 14 as a national holiday-- the day World War II ended. A celebration will mark the event this Saturday in Nacogdoches. But organizers says they need your help in finding those vets to keep the spirit of '45 alive.

James Findley remembers the day he left the comfort of his Alto farm house for the war.

"To tell you the truth I was ready to get off that mule," said Findley.

Perhaps a more peaceful memory, August 14, 1945, the day the war was finally over.

"Here comes a man down the sidewalk, in his hand he had a newspaper and he was shouting, he said, 'it's not a matter of months or years now. It's just a matter of hours!' They had dropped the atomic bomb and he was right of course because they surrendered almost immediately," said Findley.

Richard Muckelroy also remembers.

"I was so glad it was over. I just sat down and laughed I guess," he said.

It's a memory often depicted through photographs.

Six and a half decades later, a grassroots campaign is fighting to keep those momentous years alive. Starting now, August 14 is a day the United States will remember the spirit of '45. Constance Engelking is calling on all World War II veterans to celebrate.

"Our only problem is just locating where those veterans are," said Engelking.

Wednesday morning, a handful of them gathered to hear the news and hopefully share it. Engleking felt it important to personally invite those who fought for peace. She says the greatest generation deserves recognition of their efforts.

"The oldest town in Texas will have a small say in such a big event," said Engelking.

The celebration will be held at Cason Monk Funeral Home in Nacogdoches from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Breakfast will be served.

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