Written by Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story Founder
My father was interested in the arts and was heading in the direction of becoming a commercial artist when World War II broke out. He insisted on joining the service as he felt it was “his duty.” However, choosing what area of the military to join was a bit difficult. (Ray was always considered a “gentleman” and not a “fighter” yet he enjoyed sports as he played basketball in high school -at 5’10”- he was quick on his feet !
The military questioned his intent and asked him if he wanted to kill the enemy. Ray felt no animosity towards “any group of people” and he did believe it was his duty to serve (with full knowledge of the political climate at that time.) Ray was placed him in the Navy as a gunner on the USS Davison and Minesweeper.
Historically, where Ray Kapke lived in Wisconsin, it was a tight German community. At that time in Wisconsin the impact both World War I and World War II had on this German community” was experienced by our German ancestors. I understand many, many cultures dealt with similar stories. I feel sharing these stories may be beneficial to understand “discrimination” was felt by “many, many groups of people in this country from early 1500’s and so on!
So our question to you today: Did your ethnic group suffer any discrimination during World War I or II in your community? How did that shape your family’s history? How are you preserving YOUR family’s war stories?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
I had a discussion recently with someone researching his family history. He was talking about a family member that died and the fact that the very next day, World War I was declared by the United States. He wondered what the family feltat that time. Their son had just died and now the world was turned upside down by war. This also meant their surviving son might be called up for duty and in fact, he was.
When you enter your facts, documents, and pictures into Sort Your Story, are you also telling the stories that go with those individuals? Are you considering the feelings behind certain events? These feelings are what help us to bring our ancestors to life.
Our ancestors are more than just names, dates, and places. They lived a full life and dealt with similar things as we do today. Consider how they felt and write that part of their story too.
© 2012 Lorel Kapke, 19201 Sonoma Hwy. #341, Sonoma, CA 95476-5413