A tribute to P.M. Pulles
Holidaytime. It's a sunny but windy summer's day in coastal Normandy, France. My father and I are walking along a path in between row after row of white crosses. Stars of David are strewn amongst them. The wind whispers thoughts of Meaning, Reason, Eternity. The strong wind also tries to clear your mind. It's refreshing. My father says: "Every one of these crosses has a name. Every one of these names is one too many."
Through his work on The Screaming Eagles of WWII, my father intended to warm the white crosses we saw that day and the many white crosses in other cemetaries throughout Europe. He focused on the division of the American army which liberated his home town Eindhoven, The Netherlands: the 101st Airborne Division. The story behind each of these brave soldiers, these heroic liberators, was important to him. He intended to give every story, originating out of necessity, brutality and justice, a human side. Not necessarily to show the futility of war, quite to the contrary, but to show that every life is a unique and holy experience.
Piet Pulles (1924-1997) was an uncomplicated, easy-going man. He grew up in an environment where family ties are a basis for a well-balanced life. This is what he, together with our mother, taught us, his four children. Hospitality was an important asset in our home. From 1969 onwards we welcomed many guests from different nationalities in our house. Mostly, they were American WWII veterans with their spouses because of our parents' ties with the 101st Airborne Association and the Dutch Airborne Society. Yearly visits to the United States were inevitable. And on each of these visits our father was searching for more information to include in his books. He checked and double-checked that information, for he was a historian.
He tried to get information on all members of the 101st Airborne Division. Here you see an example of his work.
We, his children, wish to continue and expand on our father's work. In addition to gathering more information about the 101st soldiers (and other army units fighting in Europe during WWII), our goal is to help families of soldiers killed or missed in action to find information about their relatives. To complete the missing links in the story of their lives. This is why we started the Screaming Eagles of WWII Foundation: a non-profit organisation which holds high the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Petra Wenstedt-Pulles, on behalve of the Foundation.