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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Providence College's Lost Class of '44

Thanks to reader Emily, who was in Rhode Island recently for her daughter's graduation from Providence College, for alerting me to this article in the Providence Journal about PC's so-called Lost Class of '44.

The story is somewhat familiar but worth remembering; a class of college students who met the call of duty during World War II, and who paid the ultimate price.  Thirty-seven members of Providence College's Class of 1944 never returned.

The Class of 1944 was honored at the graduation ceremony, and two surviving members of the class who fought in Europe were presented with degrees.

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  1. Love reading things like this. Really puts life in perspective. I sometimes wonder if all Americans had to perform a couple of years of military service, as I believe they do in Singapore and Israel, if that discipline and structure missing in the lives of so many of today's youth (especially inner-city young men) wouldn't help our society profoundly. It would change our culture for the better, I believe.

    Professor, you have to view these wonderful pictures taken by a girl born in Ohio but raised in Israel. The first one, especially, is worth a million words.

    Is that a great photo, or what?

  2. Thanks for those pix, LukeHandCool, they were encouraging and enlightening. I agree re: modern inner city and other "at risk" youth lacking an opportunity to help them through such a critical period in their development. That said, however, I have no qualms with today's all-volunteer military being "selective" of those they accept.

    Question? Do we now need a national non-volunteer force by another name to be trained in basic military procedures just as a character development tool? And I'm not speaking of a Obamacorp-type project.

    Thanks, too, for the Class of '44 ;ink, professor.

  3. Cheers 49erDweet!

    I think about this seemingly intractable problem a lot. With so many boys growing up without fathers, in dysfunctional environments where even the most tireless single-mother has to continuously parent against our degrading popular culture ... how does the intergenerational transmission of poverty and self-destructive values ever stop?

    Look at those girls in Israel. How inspiring! Looking at them, I feel the same way that I do when I see old black and white pictures of my dad in the service in WWII.

    I don't think a little boot camp could do anything but help most of America's hopeless youth.