Memorial Day is always about more than the parade

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Memorial Day, as we traditionally celebrate it, was cancelled by COVID-19. This year the pomp and circumstance, parade, community picnic and concerts on the green were absent but our gratitude for those who served and gave their lives has not diminished.

It’s also been tradition for the Drummer to share parade photos of dignitaries, the Parade Marshal, mounted Horse Council members, high school bands, our own Marquis of Granby, fire apparatus and scouts galore. This year there won’t be any parade photos … it’s a more personal commemorative.

This year we share the Memorial Day memories of an Army Nurse Corps veteran well known in Granby for over 60 years. Sally Hitchcock, as she was known at that time, served in the Philippine theater in WWII and came home a battle-seasoned veteran in her own right in 1946. She married John Pullman and moved to Granby in 1959 and they  raised three children in their home on Wells Road. Over the next 60 years she was an active volunteer with the PTA, 4-H, other organizations and as a proofreader for the Drummer. She also taught nursing for many years. Her memories and friendships from those war years never faded.

In her 80s, encouraged by friends and family, she brought the box of letters she’d sent home to family and that they had saved, down from the attic. When a broken leg grounded her for weeks she delved in and compiled them along with photos and drawings into a book. Letters Home–Memoirs of one Army Nurse in the Southwest Pacific in World War II, was one of the first written by a WWII Woman Vet and among the first to be included in the collection at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington Cemetery, Washington D.C. Sally proudly attended the memorial’s dedication September 16–18, 1997 along with her cohorts from the war years.

In May of 2009, Sally wrote this personal memory for the Drummer. Sally now resides in Philadelphia, Penn., near her daughter and recently celebrated her 101st birthday. She is still active and well and is still enjoying the more than 90 Granby greetings she received for her 100th birthday.

Letters Home is also in the Library of Congress, the Granby Public Library and is available at Amazon books.