American flag

It was 74 years ago, Dec. 7, 1941, when naval forces from the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the U.S. Territory of Hawaii.

The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to the U.S. Congress – “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Shortly after the speech, Congress declared war against Japan and brought the U.S. into World War II.

The nation has just come out of the Great Depression from 1929 – 1939, which saw high unemployment, decreasing consumer spending and investments and a dismal financial outlook for many Americans following the stock market crash of 1929.

It was also during this time in the 1920s that men were born who would soon serve their country as mere teenagers during WWII and later be called part of “The World’s Greatest Generation.” How did this happen? What made them and others in America earn such a title?

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington and the Bossier Sheriff’s Office were humbled to hear from some of those men, now in their late 80s and 90s and serving on the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Posse, about serving their country during WWII. Six men discuss the war, life at home, patriotism, service on the Posse and their faith. The men are: Bill Breeland, U.S. Army Air Corps; Ray Urban, U.S. Marine Corps; Ken Myers, U.S. Navy; Al Turner, Sr., U.S. Army Air Corps; Herb Dunlop, U.S. Navy & National Guard; John Williams, U.S. Navy.

Hear their remarkable stories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q10VMi4d4v8&list=UUw3o6DALfdxsI0BWUh8BseA

“Hard work could be another reason why men like these World War II veterans are considered part of “The World’s Greatest Generation?” You see, not only did they serve their country, but they continue to serve their community here on the Bossier Sheriff’s Office Posse.

“Don’t expect someone to give you something. Realize that anything that you have, anything that you accomplish in this world, you’re going to get out there and sweat, and drub and work for it. Because God honors work. He says it’s honorable. Every man ought to earn his bread through the sweat of his brow.”

– John Williams, 88-year-old Posse member, U.S. Navy WWII veteran

“I can’t thank these men enough who serve on the Posse,” said Sheriff Whittington. “Some served in the military in World War II, others in Korea or Vietnam, and then other men who may not have worn a military uniform, but they volunteer their time to serve the residents of Bossier Parish. Helping alongside our Posse are volunteers with the Ladies’ Auxiliary, and these men and women know what it means to serve others. Thank you for your selflessness and giving hearts. We sincerely appreciate it.”