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Bethel Church helped the West Side rise from the ashes

At West End and Keeler Avenues in Chicago's West Garfield Park, an elliptical blue-green dome rises above the surrounding bungalows and two-flats. It is the pinnacle of Bethel Church, a symbol of community and an anchor to this neighborhood for 125 years.

World War II air cadet writes about new girl and worries about dad

Frank's mom wrote to him about his father's severely infected knees. Frank writes these two very short letters, the first to both his parents, the second, about two weeks later, just to his dad, my grandfather. In an earlier letter, my grandmother had written to Frank (Ebner) telling her son of Grandpa's knee injury. Here I think Frank is just trying to establish a personal communication with his father so he can encourage him in the future to take care of himself.

2019-07-09T13:18:24-05:00March 17th, 2014|Letters of a WWII Airman|

97 boys from one West Side church in WWII

Less than two years after Pearl Harbor, the lives of every family in America were upended, and that included the lives of those in my former community, West Garfield Park. In my family's relatively small West Side Chicago church, Bethel Lutheran, nearly 100 boys were in the service—and several girls as well. That's 100 families with sons (and some daughters) in harm's way. The anxiety must have been palpable.

2019-07-09T08:31:39-05:00October 28th, 2013|Letters of a WWII Airman|
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