They Did It For Us!

Earlier this year I, W. Todd Groce, Ph.D.,
President and CEO of Georgia Historical Society, had the profoundly moving experience of visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta. In the Visitors Center, I stood among a large group of students of all races looking at an exhibit that included graphic pictures from the Civil Rights Movement of the violence in Birmingham.

As we looked at images of police dogs and fire hoses turned on children, I heard one of the younger students ask an older classmate: “Why did they do it?” His answer was simple and yet profound: “They did it for us.”

This past summer marked the 75th anniversary of the landings in Normandy and the Mariana Islands, the turning points of World War II. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Fred Mingledorff, a Marine veteran of the Mariana’s Campaign, as he recorded a podcast for the Georgia Historical Society.

Fred shared his memories of that fateful day in July 1944—and many others like it—in the Pacific Theater, as well as several artifacts that he donated to the Georgia Historical Society to add to the Fred Mingledorff Collection of materials that Fred preserved from World War II. Listening to Fred relive memories from 75 years ago, I was reminded again that “they did it for us.”

Read the complete story in the Lanier County News December 26th e-edition or print edition!

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