Too Young for a Forgettable War
A tribute to one man’s time in Korea
Is it coincidence that graduation coincides so closely to Memorial Day, when we honor those lost in battle, so many of whom don a uniform upon leaving school?
When William Edward Alli, now of Bowie, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1950, he was barely 18 and not yet out of high school. “I had been clueless about what was happening to Marines deployed to a seemingly doomed southeast corner of Korea,” Alli recounts.
Within months of his graduation, all that changed, as the Detroit native joined the First Marine Division in and beyond what is now the Demilitarized Zone.
“Unaware of the huge and complex drama that I was a part of, I was moving along without thinking of what would happen next.”
But with the clarity of time, Alli paints a vivid portrait of his 12 months in Korea, bringing to life his comrades and his enemies. Too Young for a Forgettable War is an honest accounting, free of political baggage, sometimes painful, sometimes shocking and sometimes moving.
“There is much to speculate about, but one thing seems sure” Alli writes. “Violent conflicts will occur … All of them will cause suffering and both spiritual and material loss.”
Wise words as another generation of young men and women follow in Alli’s footsteps, donning a uniform after their own graduation.
Too Young for an Unforgettable War; Published by Xlibris, second edition 2012