Norma Smith cares about people. And most importantly, she walks the talk. Last summer I spoke with her about families of an unheralded World War II disaster in which 1,015 young U.S. soldiers lost their lives on the day after Thanksgiving of 1943. For over 50 years, families of those casualties were never told what happened to their loved ones and parents went to their graves never told of the fate of their sons. Over 900 men managed to heroically survive this incredible tragedy in the Mediterranean in which a German remote-controlled bomb was launched in the air and sunk the HMT Rohna, a troopship bound for Bombay to bring troops and supplies to the China-Burma-India theater of the war.
Norma, who was then special assistant to Congressman Jack Metcalf and who has a deep interest in veteran’s affairs, immediately responded. She also knew that I had a personal interest in this tragedy since my family was one of those that had remained in the dark for over 50 years. She expressed genuine interest and asked pertinent questions. Then, to my amazement, she arranged for a briefing session for me with Congressman Metcalf.
To make a long story short, as a result of Norma’s caring, a conclusion to this chapter in history occurred on Oct. 10. The House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 408 by Congressman Metcalf. This resolution expressed the appreciation of Congress for the heroic sacrifice of the servicemen who died for freedom, for the bravery of the survivors, for the families of these service members, and finally for the rescuers, especially the crew of the USS Pioneer who endangered their own lives to save 606 men.
Thanks to Norma Smith, a person who really cares. Norma Smith really walks the talk.
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