On Jan. 4 we lost Alan Albert and with him a part of history, for he was one of Michener's men of the South Pacific. I don't know how many times while we were living in Australia we were thanked as Americans for saving them in World War II.
If you doubt that we should have entered that war, go to Australia and ask that generation. It was the Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal they were thinking of, for the fate of Australia and New Zealand hung in the balance.
Cedaredge has had at least two veterans of Guadalcanal, Alan Albert and John Hawkins. Alan was a Marine and John was on a destroyer that covered the landing. I think of them when I read Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific." Michener said:
"They will live a long time, these men of the South Pacific. They had an American quality. They, like their victories, will be remembered as long as our generation lives. After that, like men of the Confederacy, they will become strangers. Longer and longer shadows will obscure them, until their Guadalcanal sounds distant on the ear like Shiloh and Valley Forge."
It is as if through Alan or John we have known someone who was at Shiloh or Valley Forge. We have known someone who was part of a small band that turned the tide of the war at Guadalcanal.