On this Memorial Day, my thoughts are with Bill Moore, a man who was both a hero at home and on the battlefield.
My connection to Moore is remote but nonetheless consequential. Moore was from a very wealthy family, and he and his Harvard grad friends started a camp in Bar Harbor, Maine (Camp Sung-in-the-Woods), that took in poor kids from the Bronx. This was in 1941/1942, and one of the kids was my dad.
Those summers at the camp gave my dad both a momentary escape from extreme poverty and a sense of generosity or “paying back” that he carried with him for the rest of his life.
The Community Service Society (the CSS, an outreach group of the Episcopalian Church) that helped send my dad to Moore’s camp also brought them presents at Christmas, and later on when my dad was in high school, brought all the kids who attended the camp together.
It was there that they learned Moore gave up his wealth and safety to enlist in the infantry, and that he died on the battlefield in France in WWII.
I can only aspire to the ideals that Moore lived by. Can you imagine the difference for my dad in spending the summer in Maine instead of on the streets of the Bronx in 1937?