The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005 Page: 5
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Remeberance Ceremony for Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Morrow
wreaths were laid, the band played "Taps"
(Belgian version) and the Belgian and American
national anthems. The colors were then retired,
and Bob Stone made a short speech, telling
about the mission on which T.J. was killed. The
ceremony was very moving, and very
emotional, especially for the members of the
Morrow family. The memorial plaque was a
polished black native stone about 20 by 30
inches, inscribed in English and Flemish, as
In Memory of
S/Sgt Thomas J. Morrow
466 Bomb Group, USAAF
KIA 7 October 1944
Following the formal ceremony, the entire
assemblage marched to the music of the band
about two blocks to a local hall for further
activities. There were three more speeches, one
by Milo Anthonis, the City Clerk; one by Peter
Celis, translating into Flemish Bob Stone's
earlier speech; and one by Col. (Ret) Jef Vaes,
who had assisted Peter in arranging the entire
program, and who had acted as master of
ceremonies at the formal dedication of the
memorial plaque. The hall contained tables set
for perhaps 150 people, with drinks and small
sandwiches, and a stage at one end of the room.
After a short lull, the curtain was drawn
suddenly and two men dressed as Military
Police came and stood at attention on either side
of the stage. The rear wall of the stage was
covered with a huge American flag. There
followed an announcement that we would be
entertained by the Andrews Sisters, and three
ladies appeared, dressed in USO uniforms, and
began to lip-synch songs from an album of
Andrews Sisters music of the 1940s! And it was
not just one song, but several which were
familiar to the Americans. We even sang along
with them on some. Then two men in sergeants'
uniforms joined the ladies and crooned to the
music of Bing Crosby. This entertainment must
have lasted for more than forty five minutes,
and the crowd of Americans went wild! We
were absolutely overwhelmed at their
performance. They had undoubtedly spent many
hours rehearsing these songs, which were tailor-
made for the Americans. We later learned that
the men in military uniforms and the ladies were
a group of "re-enactors" whose hobby it is to
perform at functions such as this. We were so
impressed by their devotion to their hobby, and
all the hard work they did just for us, that we
could not find words to express our feelings.
It was now about three o'clock in the afternoon
with even more to come. We again boarded the
bus and were taken back by the church so we
could take photographs of the plaque and each
other. We learned then that T.J. was originally
buried in the city cemetery located just behind
the church, prior to being moved to a U.S.
Military Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz, near
Liege, Belgium. In 1948 his mother had his
body brought home and buried at Restland
Cemetery in Dallas.
The final event on the program was lunch at a
very fine restaurant nearby. There were twenty-
seven Americans there, plus about twenty
Belgian participants in the celebration. We
enjoyed a full four-course meal, which must
have taken two hours to serve. I am not sure
what some of the foods were, but everything
was quite delicious. As we were concluding the
meal, Peter and Col. Vaes began to bring us
gifts. Pictures had been made of the various
activities and were made into two montages, as
well as a picture of the memorial plaque with an
inserted picture of T.J. Morrow. Each of us
received one of these. Then we were given a
leaded glass window hanging depicting pictures
of various buildings in Ramsel, and a book
compiled by Col. Vaes (and written in Dutch)
about citizens of Ramsel who were killed in
World Wars I and II, including the allied airmen
who crashed in the city limits. It even included
the story of T.J. Morrow, with his picture. By
Dallas Journal 2005 5
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 51, 2005, periodical, October 2005; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186864/m1/9/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.