February 11, 2007

Band of Brothers

The feature allowing users to enter family members has apparently been discontinued at the BofB/HBO website.  I could not find it while visiting the site on 12/21/2010.

Several years ago HBO produced a series that is said to be the most accurate depiction of a WW2 unit ever produced. I watched the entire series when it first ran and I like to watch re-runs of it whenever I have the opportunity.

The story follows Company E, 502 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division [Easy Company] from basic training to the completion of the war in Europe. This unit jumped into Normandy and, after fighting their way across Europe, was part of the defense of Bastogne at the Battle of the Bulge.

I was a member of the US Army from 1959 to 1968. From the period 1960-1963 I was stationed at Verdun in France. That area has suffered invasion and devestation since well before Charlamagne. I spent a lot of my free time visiting battle fields, old forts and reading about the two great 20th century wars that nearly destroyed Europe.

In addition to my obvious interest in an accurate story about WW2, my particular interest in the HBO series was Eugene Roe, a cousin on my maternal side. Eugene was a medic in "Easy" Company and, although not highlighted enough in the Stephen Ambrose book about this unit, he was given significant time in the HBO production.

HBO created a low-key website to advertise the series, and to offer viewers a place to talk about and to honor veterans in their families. I visited the site when it first appeared, and entered memorials to Loy G. Coffee, a paternal uncle, and to Raymond Bourgeois, my wife's uncle on her maternal side.

So, to make my point here: Except for my contribution, there are no other Coffee or Coffey men or women who have been memorialized on this website.

If you have an uncle, grandfather, aunt, grandmother, brother or sister who contributed to the Allied Effort during WW2 I encourage you to visit the HBO website and create your own memorial to that person. It's easy, painless and free!

Let me know when your memorial has been created and I'll post the link here.

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