Today we are observing Veteran's Day and I thought it fitting to write about my Uncle George Keleher, an Army veteran of World War II. When his brother, John Keleher, died in October, my cousins sent me photos and letters that John had kept. I received two photos of George and some letters that mentioned his time in the Army.
George C. Keleher
My parents, Sam and Mary Markel, were just married in 1942. George was in Europe fighting the Germans. This was a time fraught with anxiety. I was born in 1944 when Mary wrote to her brother John.
"Doubtless you will wonder what has happened here in Bayside. Right now, Carol is on the floor having a great time. We expect to go to Tonawanda around July 10th. We are waiting until Sam has his tires recapped. Can only have one done at a time as he has no extra tire."
"What did you think of the invasion? Good news, eh. At this writing. Have you heard anything from George? I haven't heard anything in about two or three weeks. Am afraid he has gone out of the country...I think they have almost captured Cherbourg. Hope this means that it will be over soon."The battle of Cherbourg was part of the Battle of Normandy and was fought after the Allied landing on June 6, 1944. American troops isolated and captured the fortified port of Cherbourg. It was a hard-fought, month-long battle.
Mary by a tree.
"The garden is coming along fine although the rabbits ate all our string beans. The baby keeps me jumping most of the time now. Believe me, she is the boss in our family. Sam has been singing her to sleep lately. I put her in a playpen now where she's outside and she loves it. No doubt, she will be sitting up in another month."
Uncle George with his mother and my grandmother, Kate Keleher.
Left to right: Uncle George, Cousin Kathleen, Jack Wedge,
Mary Markel and Jeanne Markel, at Mary's condo in
Southold, New York.