What a joy to read about the final touches being applied to the World War II memorial in an article by Steven Mayer (“Bronze centerpiece arrives at nearly finished World War II veterans memorial,” Dec. 6). As a community, we can all be thankful for the time invested by Kathleen Grainger-Schaffer, Walter Grainger, Wendy Ward, Paul Burzych, Ed Gaede, the city of Bakersfield, the county of Kern, and many others who have made this memorial a possibility.
Upon hearing about the dedication ceremony for our local World War II veterans that will take place this Saturday, I remembered my grandfather, Claudie Hames. He served as a paratrooper in the Philippines and helped the Allied Forces take back the Pacific. He would often recall the historic battle for Corregidor that started on Feb. 16, 1945. It was on this date that the paratroopers of the 503rd jumped on the Fortress of Corregidor (“the Rock”) to help liberate the Pacific from the Imperial Army. The battle on that island continued for 11 straight days, and he was eventually wounded by grenade shrapnel.