Francis Aloysius Bloom
|Home||Birth, childhood, and adolescence||Army basic training||Now a paratrooper||To Italy||Southern France||Belgium||After death|
Frank was mourned by his parents, family, and hometown.
His parents were devout Catholics and turned to God and the Church for support and consolation.
Florence, Frank's mother, found consolation in these essays.
Consolation and advice came from an Army chaplain.
This photograph of a Catholic Mass in Belgium was sent to Frank's parents by Mrs. Koenigs-Hassard.
Iowa's Clinton County, Frank's home, listed all war deaths for their 1945 Memorial Day issue.
The following documents were in Florence's possession. I learned that many Belgians adopted American gravesites after the war out of respect to the deceased and their families. The Koenigs-Hassard family adopted Frank's gravesite. Monique was their young daughter.
During our June, 2011 visit to Belgium we sought Monique and discovered that she had died several years earlier.
Mrs. Koenigs-Hassard sent her husband's death notice to the Bloom family.
The Blooms are told where Frank is buried.
These are early photos of the Henri-Chapelle cemetery.
This is Frank's first marker.
Florence, Frank's mother, kept records of who provided condolences.
My wife and I visited the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in June, 2011. Almost 8000 American soldiers are buried in the site. The cemetery managers were very welcoming and helpful. The grounds are well-maintained. We believe that our dead are being given the respect that is deserved.
The cemetery was reconstructed and stone markers were created near the end of the Eisenhower administration in the late 1950's.
We visited Saint-Jacques, Belgium where Frank was killed. The church has two memorials to the American units that liberated the town during the Battle of the Bulge: the 517, 505, and 551.
|Birth, childhood, and adolescence||Army basic training||Now a paratrooper||To Italy||Southern France||Belgium||After death|