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Compassion Speaks: In Remembrance

A World War II veteran remembers another, her uncle, and urges us all to thank a veteran on this Veterans Day.

by Mary Beth Maney, RDC
                                                  
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2012, a federal holiday, falls on a Sunday this year, so it is observed on Monday, Nov. 12th. It honors the service of all U.S. military veterans. 

The name was changed from Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.  After World War II, on June 1, 1954, Congress replaced the name with Veterans Day, and the holiday was expanded to include veterans of all wars. Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day, which remembers men and women veterans who died while serving.

My remembrance in this article is the story of a World War I Veteran, my mother’s brother. This year, 2012, marks the 100th anniversary of the Class of 1912 of Albany Law School, Union University, and the oldest institution of legal education in North America. My uncle, Judge Edward N. Scheiberling, was the 1912 class president.  Hon. Robert H. Jackson, later Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Prosecutor for the Nuremberg trials of Nazi War criminals in 1945, was a classmate who remained his lifelong friend. The Albany Law Magazine, Spring 2012, celebrated this legacy.

Uncle Ed entered Army service in 1916, assigned to the 312th U.S. Infantry, 78th (Lightning) Division.  He was sent to France as a Captain, seeing action in the Meuse Argonne offense. In 1935, while Judge of the Albany City Court and President of the Albany County Bar Association, he exercised his right to break a tie by casting the deciding vote in favor of WOMEN jurors!

On Armistice Day, November 11, 1939 (the end of hostilities), he married Ethel Fitzpatrick of Norwood, Mass. Uncle Ed became active in the American Legion, becoming the 4th wartime National Commander, 1944-1945, and traveled throughout the United States in advocacy of the G.I. Bill and support for our fighting men and women in World War II.

Judge Scheiberling formed a law firm which became Scheiberling, Rogan and Maney, and his great nephew, Kevin Maney, and great niece Madeline Maney Kennedy, both graduates of Albany Law School, are co-partners in the firm today in Albany, N.Y.  My uncle died, at age 78, in 1967.

I, too, am a veteran of World War II, U.S. Coast Guard Spars, and a 61-year member of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion. I am so pleased to give recognition to my uncle, since I have proud memories of him and our service. In saluting him, I salute all veterans!

I am a life member of the American Legion, which sponsored the educational benefits of the G.I. Bill of 1944 and the permanent G.I. Bill of 1987.  The Legion, in its support of all veterans, aided in the passage of the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act of 2012, which recognizes military training in granting licenses and certificates to skilled service members returning to civilian life.

In the Fall of 2010, I had a complimentary Honor Flight with 30 other veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial.  When we landed in Baltimore, Maryland, we were greeted by a line of Navy men and women in uniform who shook our hands individually, saying, “Thank you for your service,” while on-lookers clapped. 

It was such a poignant, tear-filled moment!

We can all reflect on this date the words of Harry S. Truman, U. S. President, 1945-1953:

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid.  They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.

A meaningful tribute to the veteran in your life would be to say, “Thank you for your service.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Terry Young November 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Dear Mary Beth, "Thank you for your service." And for this very personal account and reflection on those who have served our country. Terry Young
Noreen C Rosa November 12, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Sr. Mary Beth, Thank you for your wonderful tribute to your uncle & your service to this great country.

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