Massachusetts Stories

Ernest Daly, Danvers

(Nominated by Jean Rocket)
March 24, 2011

My Dad, Ernest Daly, is one of our precious remaining WWII veterans.  As a medic, Dad took on the responsibility for the lives of the men who fought in the first battalion of the 121st Regiment of the 8th Infantry Division. Medics were exceedingly visible in the field with armbands and helmets prominently marked with a red cross on a field of white, but were not given guns in WWII. Twenty-five medics were attached to the first battalion when they landed at Utah Beach; only five returned to Boston Harbor a year later. One of the few recollections Dad ever shared was an instance when all available stretchers had been used, he took his field jacket off, turned it inside out, found two poles and crafted a makeshift stretcher to guarantee one solder’s immediate evacuation from the front line.  It was winter and cold, but the welfare of this soldier was more important than his own comfort. He received numerous medals and awards including the French “Legion of Honor” Medal, presented by the French Consul General at the French Consulate in Boston. Dad is a life member of the VFW assisting and supporting other veterans. He was actively involved in the Holy Name Society, the Order of the Alhambra and Knights of Columbus, which are organizations that specifically benefit children who have special needs. Dad is a quiet, unassuming 89 year old veteran who will get up with the sun and, weather permitting, will raise the flag in front of his home. He now cares for his wife of 64 years because he says simply, “that’s what I said I’d do when I married her.” Over the years, he has served his country as well as his community most honorably. Dad would be humbled and more than honored to be given the privilege of stitching the National 9/11 Flag.