Archive for the ‘Dedication’ Category


courageThis website is dedicated to the memory of those who served in World War II, both on the homefront and on the battlefield. It is the collective work of Library staff, and the people of Quincy.

To the extent that this site represents design and work on my part, it is  also  dedicated to my father, Jeremiah Thuma, who served as a flight engineer in the US Air Corps and whose pictures appear on several of these pages; and to the late Simmons College professor Allen Smith, whose Library Science class on oral history is the inspiration for this collection of interviews and stories. It wasn’t so much that Professor Smith was an exacting and rigorous teacher–he was–but rather that he taught his students to appreciate–and to accept–those invitations so often overlooked or dismissed– to stop what we are doing and hear a story.

allen1To know  Allen Smith was to value humor, grit, and discipline. And to find yourself cheering on the people who show those qualities, and who are generous enough to share them with you. Whether it’s  in a classroom, in a conversation, or on this Library website.

Allen Smith used to tell his students that we were each allowed to use one exclamation point in our entire lives. And he preferred we did not use it in any papers we submitted to him.

If it is true that we each only have one, then I use mine now, when I say, in thanks, that Allen Smith was a remarkable person, and a remarkable teacher!

End Note: A reporter from the Patriot Ledger newspaper who wrote a story about this website asked me about the importance of World War Two. I’m not a historian–I’m not even a very astute observer of politics or culture or finances. But the financial crisis that is now enveloping the US and other countries has an “end of the century” feel to it that entirely by coincidence makes the library’s World War II programs and site feel as much like a farewell to the America created by that war as it does a remembrance.

The promise and sheer capital that the war generated seems to have been spent, and now we are again looking at tough times and looking for leaders who can help summon not just the policies of recovery, but a collective national will to re-imagine how we live and how we think.

In our final interview, Dan Breen looks at the future through the lens of World War Two, and finds every reason to be optimistic

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” –Aristotle

Please! Leave us a comment. Share your thoughts and memories.

Thank you.


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