by Jan Reynolds
When I was about one year old, my daddy’s youngest brother, Ernest Parrett at the age of 17, talked my grandmother into letting him quit school and join the army. She had to sign that she was ok with him joining. His brother and brother-in-law were in the navy. My daddy was not able to join the fight, so he was the Civil Defense person for our neighborhood to do his part for the war.
Uncle Ernest did his basic training was his unite was sent over to fight. I have pictures of him holding me before he left to fight in WWII. I now have letters he wrote to my grandmother while he was overseas.
In with these letters is the telegram from the Army my grandparents received saying he had been killed. Uncle Ernest was a Sargent when he was killed by sniper fire after his unit the 254th Infantry 63rd Division had infiltrated Germany. He was killed on April 20, 1945 at the age of 19. World War II ended on May 8,1945.
I have wondered what his life would have been like if he had made it to the end.
My son, Keith Todd and I went to Paris, France in July 2021. I told him the one thing "I wanted to see was where my uncle was buried." So, we took a side trip to the town of Reims, France and drove to Saint-Avoid, France to the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial.
Because of a website called www.findagrave.com, I had found the section and number where he was buried.
I took pictures of the chapel they have built and of my uncle’s monument. The cemetery was so peaceful and well kept. We spoke to the gentleman that was over the crew that took such great care of my uncle’s grave and all the others.
This was not the only cemetery where the military are buried from this war. I have now seen two. Maybe someday I will be able to visit others.•