With Memorial Day this coming Monday, I wanted to post about some of my family that served. I only know the identity of one of the three Army buddies shown here above, but all three were in the Fourth (IVY) Division, 12th Infantry Regiment, and it was most likely taken in either 1943 or 1944. Jimmy Doran was the man on the right holding a cigarette. His two unknown buddies are grinning in such a delightful fashion. With their arms thrown around each other, they truly look like comrades in arms. I’ve always loved this photo, because it looks so spontaneous, and not stiff or posed. The Fourth Division landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and Jimmy said his regiment was in the third wave.
When Jimmy was wounded after D-Day during the invasion of France, on June 8, 1944, he was listed in his hometown newspaper this way: “S/Sgt. Doran, 24, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Doran of the Hamilton street address. He was born in Harrison and attended Holy Cross School. He entered the Army three years ago and went overseas last December.” His brother, Private First Class John Doran is buried at the Brittany American Cemetery, in France. Two other brothers served – Corporal Bernard Doran in the South Pacific, and Peter B. Doran, as a Navy Seaman in the Atlantic. I don’t know if the two men shown above survived, but if they did, most likely they also suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, like Jimmy and his brothers.
The Serenity Prayer was one of Jimmy Doran’s favorite prayers, for its simple but healing words. This Memorial Day, and throughout the weekend, I will be keeping veterans of all the armed conflicts in my own thoughts and prayers. The holiday was designated to remember those that died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.