Wearing medals and uniforms from the various armed services, they exchanged stories about World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. Some talked about their college days in various service academies. Ex-test pilots talked about early flights. Gunner’s mates swapped stories about harrowing moments. One of the individuals remembered the terrible days during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. All of the veterans gathered this day were women.
They were there to dedicate the Women in Military Service for American Memorial. Incorporating a part of the cemetery’s stone wall, the memorial features rectangular glass panels upon which are etched quotations about military experiences. One of the quotations, from World War II Coast Guard Captain and first director of the women’s unit, Dorothy Stratton, says simply, “We wanted to serve our country in its time of need. The Coast Guard gave us this opportunity and we did our job well.”
from The Record, November 1997