web analytics

Categorized | News

Bringing history to life

Bringing history to life

By Judy Reed

History came to life to students at Cedar Springs Middle School Monday, December 7, when veterans from World War II came to talk to them on Pearl Harbor Day.

Teacher Brett Burns said that he prepped students in his reading classes for the talk by having them read about the invasion of Poland, and what led up to World War II and why they were doing it. “If it wasn’t for these guys, we wouldn’t have some of the freedoms we have,” said Burns.

Veterans Marty Klein, Tom Fawcett, Mike Lamb, and Richard Bronk shared their experiences with Cedar Springs Middle School students this week for Pearl Harbor Day. Post photo by J. Reed.

Veterans Marty Klein, Tom Fawcett, Mike Lamb, and Richard Bronk shared their experiences with Cedar Springs Middle School students this week for Pearl Harbor Day. Post photo by J. Reed.

On hand was Tom Fawcett, a Viet Nam war vet, who talked about his uncle, Harold Fawcett, a naval photographer who took photos of the Arizona as it was burning in Pearl Harbor. “My uncle was a very patriotic man,” said Fawcett. “He took the message to children like yourselves every year and I’m very proud of him.”

Cpl. Marty Klein, 90, was involved in the invasion of North Africa and the invasion of Sicily in 1942 and 1943. He was wounded and was discharged in 1944. One of the students asked him what it felt like to be hit by a bullet. “You really know it at the time,” answered Klein. “When I was hit, two of my men picked me up and put me on a stretcher. One-eighth of an inch lower, and I wouldn’t be here. I had a lot of respect for the Germans. They were good marksman,” he noted.

Cpl. Richard Bronk served as part of the Army medical corps. “When I first heard Mr. Fawcett (Harold) speak about Pearl Harbor Day, I was just a couple of years older than you,” he told the students. Bronk said he was stationed in Manila, and the field hospitals would bring their wounded in at night to them in ambulances. “It was really dark because there were very few lights,” noted Bronk. “And you’d better know the password, because if you didn’t, you’d have a bayonet in your belly.” He also said the people there were so hungry that after the soldiers had eaten, the people would scrape out the soldiers’ mess kits into a tin can bring it home to eat.

Mike Lamb served as both a deckhand in the Merchant Marines, and as a Marine Corporal. ‘I worked in the European theatre delivering cargo and supplies to troops, and delivering troops,” he explained. He didn’t see action himself, but choked up when talking about all the lives that were lost. “I’m an old softie,” he said.

The men also talked about rations, training, and the weapons they used. Fawcett ended the presentation. “I hope you learned something and will carry it through your life,” he told the students. “It’s because of these gentleman that you are able to ask the questions you are today.”

This post was written by:

- who has written 17130 posts on Cedar Springs Post Newspaper.


Contact the author

Comments are closed.

Advertising Rates Brochure
Kent County Credit Union
Cedar Car Co
Ray Winnie
Watson Rockford

Archives

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!