I am too young to have known Ernie Pyle or to have been around during World War II when he wrote dispatches from the front lines to readers back home who were starved for information relating to their loved ones serving in the Pacific. He was, by all accounts, revered by his readers for the familial and cordially folksy manner in which he portrayed the sometimes heartbreaking accounts of suffering and death, and at other times the heroic deeds of GI's who rose above the simple call to duty. Ernie Pyle was shot and killed by a Japanese sniper on a desolate Pacific island just at war's end.
Now, those few people - mostly over 70 - who still have fond memories of the legendary journalist will find a certain sadness in this news:
Ernie Pyle's Childhood Home DestroyedKeeping Ernie Pyle's legacy alive in an era when journalists as a group are held in such low regard would have been a monumental task anyway. This won't make it any easier.
By The Associated Press
DANA, Ind. -- The Indiana farmhouse where World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle grew up has been demolished, shocking preservationists who had worked for years to keep Pyle's legacy alive.
The home's demolition in mid-August came after the owners had offered it to the Ernie Pyle museum in Dana, the state or anyone who would take it. (link)
For more information on his life and a sampling of his superb writing, click here.
Photo courtesy of Indiana University