Joe Mann Memorial
Submitted by Marge Womach
Joe Mann died September 1944
"It was September, 1944, and Holland was under siege when Allied soldiers parachuted into Best to secure the area from the advancing Germans. In the struggle, a Reardan boy, Joe Mann, already wounded four times by rifle fire, died when he threw his body over a grenade to shield others from the explosion. Of such things are heroes made and statues erected. Such a one is the Joe Mann Memorial at the entrance to the Memorial Gardens at Best visited for the first time this fall by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mann of Reardan, Joe’s brother. A sister, Irene Bennett and her husband of Salem, OR accompanied them. Every five years is a week’s celebration honoring Holland’s liberation; along the corridor wreaths are laid at memorials and people recall the day when the sky filled with parachutes and the ‘Yanks’ dropped onto Dutch soil. ‘It is absolutely fantastic,’ exclaimed Mrs. Mann, ‘how these people remember. Children will draw pictures of the event as it was told to them by their parents who lived through it. They will have enactments of the battle all along the route. Bastogne has remained the same as during the war with tanks guarding the city and some of the shells that were once houses still standing. I only wish that this week of celebrating could be put on TV,’ she said, ‘so people in this country would know how some foreigners feel about America even today.’ While in Holland the Manns were guests of Kies Wittebrood and his son who live in a suburb of Amsterdam. They did much sightseeing..." (Dav. Times: 11-21-1974; long article of their trip and sights)
Submitted to the Lincoln County,Washington, GenWeb
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