Family Memories of World War II

By Staff Writer
December 6, 2001

My father, Joseph Truglio, grew up in a home filled with stories of World War II. As a young boy his father, the late Albert Truglio, always proudly spoke to his children and later to his grandchildren, about his own experiences in the war but also the efforts of his two brothers.

His many talks were told with mixed emotions, some fond funny memories that he shared with his buddies but also sad and obviously heartbreaking stories that he had still not shaken and never would. My grandfather’s two brothers were killed in the war within two weeks of each other. Overcome by grief over the deaths of his two beloved brothers, Peter and Jackie Truglio, my grandfather never hesitated to speak of the war without enthusiasm and pride for what he and his family contributed and sacrificed for their country.

When speaking of World War II the breaking point and quintessential moment of the war is without a doubt Pearl Harbor. “My father talked about many aspects of the war to me and my siblings.” Joseph Truglio said. “One of the stories that he often told us about was where he was when he found out that the United States had been attacked at Pearl Harbor. He was at the movie theaters and the movie was stopped in the middle and the attack was announced.”

Once my grandfather and his brothers learned of the bombing they immediately enlisted. “They felt it was their call to duty. My father’s brother Peter was 32 years old with a son and wife and forced the officials to enlist him,” Joseph Truglio said.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred it was the expected and honorable thing to do to immediately enlist. My grandfather and his youngest brother Jackie who was just 19 years old when he went off to war, were expected to go but not Peter. “My father always spoke to me about how hard it was on his mother that Peter enlisted and went off to war. He was not drafted and was leaving his wife and two-year old son behind,” Joseph Truglio said.

My grandfather never recovered from the loss of his two brothers. The most painful thing was that he never had the chance to say goodbye to them. “He started to receive returned letters that he had sent to his brothers from where he was stationed, he figured out on his own that they were in fact dead,” said Joseph Truglio. There was never any closure for my grandfather until three years before he died. He went to France to the cemetery where his brother Jackie was buried with his fellow men of combat. “When my father finally made the trip to France, he finally had the chance to say a proper farewell to his brother,” Joseph Truglio said.

It was indeed a dream of my grandfather’s to visit the burial site of his youngest brother. He and his family had given so much to their country and truly showed their patriotism to the fullest degree. It may be the difference in time period, which made my grandfather and his brothers do what they did for their country but there is no doubt that their patriotism was given fully and unconditionally from the depths of their hearts.

Thomas Kennedy is from my hometown and knows about the story of my grandfather’s family and so many other families in my town. Recalling memories, Kennedy was just a boy when Pearl Harbor was attacked. His recollection of the time of the attack is still very vivid. “I was just a young boy playing ball in my hometown. No one on our block had telephones, I remember people screaming out their windows about the news of Pearl Harbor and the bells of the churches ringing in memory of those who passed,” Kennedy said.

Asked about the recent attack on the United States on Sept. 11th, “The impact of Sept. 11th by far hit the United States deeper because we were attacked in the heart of our country, you have to remember that at the time of Pearl Harbor Hawaii was not even a state.”

Kennedy talked about how the tragedies of Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11th changes our way of life forever. Another difference between these two tragedies Kennedy spoke about is the difference of attitudes that people have today. “When Pearl Harbor was attacked boys were running to the enlistment offices to enlist, people were eager to go to war. This is different today. There is a totally different way of life and idea of war.” Kennedy is very involved with veterans, a former Marine himself, who left high school to join the corps. Kennedy recently was a guest speaker at a function about the idea of war and the impact of Sept. 11th and he had this to say, “No one likes or wants a war. Everyone is against war in his or her hearts but freedom is not free. The right for me to speak at a function like this is because of freedom; the right for a journalist to cover a story about my speech is freedom. That is why we fight wars for our freedoms. No other reason!”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Staff Writer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap