Writing Wednesday – Photo Writing Prompt

What kind of World War II story could you write using these photos?

Omaha Beach (40)

Normandy ABMC Cemetery (40)

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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Military Monday – European Speaking Engagement

This fall I will be speaking in several locations in the Netherlands. The first engagement has been confirmed. Please visit my website to learn about all my U.S. and European speaking engagements.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
The Liberators. Reconstructing Army and Air Corps World War II Military Service

During 1944 and 1945, thousands of men and women serving in the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces, fought to defeat Germany and liberate Europe. Their stories are those of life and death, hope, friendship, love, memories of those left behind, and dreams of the future.

Many questions surround the service history of these men and women. How does one conduct research from Europe? What records are available and how can they be accessed? How can individuals connect with families of the fallen, the sweethearts, or who shared their homes during the war? And finally, how can we preserve their stories?

This program will be held at the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 in Groesbeek, Netherlands.

© 2015 Jennifer Holik

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Military Monday – We Will Never Forget

Luxembourg James Flag (54)

A few weeks ago I returned from a life changing trip to Europe. I was given the opportunity to see so many of the places about which I had researched and written. I also met many people who I had only known through Facebook and email. The most important days though, were 1 May and 2 May.

Luxembourg James Flag (34)

James Privoznik’s grave in Luxembourg Cemetery.

1 May 2015 I visited Luxembourg Cemetery to visit my cousin James Privoznik. I wrote his story in my book Stories of the Lost. For three years I researched James’s life and service. He became a very special part of my life the last three years, and it was an honor to take his burial flag from 1948 to the cemetery and fly it. I think heaven knew how emotional I would be that day because it too was crying as we flew the flag and visited his grave. After we flew his flag for several minutes, my dad and I folded it. It was a special moment. We then visited James’s grave.

2 May 2015 a couple of friends, Norbert and Romaine, who visit James’s grave a few times year and honor the service of the 90th Division, in which James fought, met us to take us to the woods where James was killed. Walking in the woods where he fought and was killed on that cold, snowy day 11 January 1945, was a solemn, sad, and very thoughtful experience.  Norbert told me a lot of history of the woods and the battle that took place and he let me wander around on my own. I cried a lot of tears that day for this brave man who gave everything so I could have the life I do today.

    Walking in the woods where James was killed.

Walking in the woods where James was killed.

Today, Memorial Day, I hope you will stop a moment and reflect on all those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. If you get the chance, visit their graves or walk where they walked. It will be an experience you will never forget.

© 2015, Jennifer Holik

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