[S. Joseph Melick, Jr]
On November 28, 1942, my father, S. Joseph Melick, Jr., was home on leave from the Army Air Force, and went into Boston to have some fun. In the summertimes before the war, Dad had been a volunteer firefighter in Wells Beach, Maine; and when Dad heard the sirens from the fire trucks Dad headed over to see what was going on. As he arrived at the scene, someone told him "hey, Soldier -- we need help over here." Dad ended up helping to take quite a few people out of the building, some alive but certainly some who were dead.
Growing up, I remember the fire being mentioned in our house, but Dad never said a word about it. It was only after Dad died in March of 2009 that his younger brother Richard told Dad's story at his memorial service; and it was then that I truly understood why the fathers of my contemporaries who, unlike Dad, saw combat in World War II never liked to talk about their experiences. How could Dad have ever put into words, to me, what he saw and did that night?"