On Saturday, April 20th, military vehicles filled the Lower Columbia College parking lot in Longview, WA, and people crowded into the Student Center to learn about the experiences of paratroopers in the 101st, 82nd, and 17th Airborne Divisions of World War II. This day-long symposium brought together authors and veterans who shared their stories with more than 250 people from across the country. The event was sponsored by the Cowlitz County Historical Society of Kelso, WA, in partnership with Jim Sutton, Superintendent of the Kalama School District, Kalama, WA.
Included were Chris Anderson, editor of WWII Magazine; five authors of well-recognized airborne books: Donald R. Burgett (A Co, 1st BN, 506th PIR), T.Moffatt Burris, Robert M. Bowen, Bart Hagerman, and John McKenzie; and two veterans from the Band of Brothers, Lynn "Buck" Compton and Don Malarkey.
The symposium attracted national attention. Attendees came from across the country: Maryland, Illinois, Texas, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. In addition to the major speakers, local veterans from Cowlitz County shared their perspectives on the war. Display tables featuring collections from 11 vendors filled the second floor of the Student Center, and several participants in a WWII Reenacting and Living History group appeared in full battle dress to add authenticity and immediacy to the event.
(L-R): T. Moffatt Burriss; Lynn "Buck" Compton (E Co, 2nd BN, 506th PIR, 1943-1945); Don Malarkey (E Co, 2nd BN, 506th PIR, 1942-1945); Donald R. Burgett (A Co, 1st BN, 506th PIR, 1943-1945) Robert M. Bowen; Bart Hagerman.
|Reflections on Training and Combat
(R): Jim Sutton, Superintendent of the Kalama School District, Kalama, WA.
(L): Donald R. Burgett (A Co, 1st BN, 506th PIR, 1943-1945), author of
Currahee! : A Screaming Eagle at Normandy
The Road to Arnhem : A Screaming Eagle in Holland
Seven Roads to Hell : A Screaming Eagle at Bastogne
Beyond the Rhine