Sixth Marine Division
Official Website
Stories by Others About the Sixth Division, the Marines, and World War II

Service, Humility and Integrity

by Carl Long

My interest in WWII began so early in life, that I honestly cannot remember its origin. I do remember sneaking out of class in elementary school, to hide in the library and read books about the war. (Please keep that amongst us, as my mother would not approve.) I did more looking at pictures than reading stories then. The pictures conveyed such a strong sense of action and range of emotions that it sparked an unquenchable curiosity that continues to drive me to learn more, even all these years later. Over time, my interest has become less about large-scale campaigns, and much more about the personal stories of service. In fact, this individual focus is what found me at the 6th Marine Division reunion in 2015.

Don Honis (29th Mar-3-I) examines Carl Long's WWII collection
at the 2015 Reunion in Columbus, OH as Carl looks on

In the process of researching the service history of a WWII Marine named Neil Morris, I learned that he had served with the 6th Marine Division. He was in K Battery, 4th Battalion, 15th Marine Artillery Regiment, and landed on Okinawa via LST-704. In trying to learn as much as I could about Mr. Morris’ service, I discovered the 6th Marine Division website, and ultimately connected with Harry and Barbara McKnight. They were extremely welcoming, and beyond patient with all of my questions. It was in February 2015 when they told me about the reunion coming up in August. While the six-month wait was anguishing at times, it was absolutely worth it. I continue to treasure those days amongst you.

In closing, I will tell you I was a bit anxious about writing this article. I was concerned I might be unable to find words that adequately expressed my appreciation for what you did for the world in your youth -- and, how you continue to live your lives today. I am deeply grateful for the life that you helped create for all of us. You not only served our great nation with distinction, but you continue to live a life of service, humility, and integrity.

To you, and all that have worn a uniform and marched in the sun, thank you. While those words seem too small for this moment, they are most certainly from the heart.

Humbly yours,