May 7, 1945. It was 67 years ago that my father, Private First Class Ralph Lowell Coleman, died as a result of wounds received in action against the enemy in World War II. He served as an Infantry Scout with Company H, 185th Regimental Combat Team, 40th Infantry Division. He was 32 years of age when he died at Tripler General Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii, after he was evacuated from Panay Island, the Philippines.
He was a genuine war hero, the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor, and Oak Leaf; the Purple Heart with three Oak Leaves; the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of War Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
He was first buried with full military honors at the Old Post Cemetery, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Later, in February 1949, he was re-interred at the new National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl Crater, Honolulu, Hawaii, where he rests in plot O-480 beside his comrades.
In the words of President Harry S Truman, "...he stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it, he lives - in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men."
I've always been proud to bear his name and to honor his memory.
I salute you, Dad...and love you.