The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 18, 2013

Long-missing WWII medal to be awarded

(Continued)

Markel was killed in the last days of World War II on May 3, 1945, in Italy's Po Valley while fighting German troops as an officer with the 88th Division of the 351st Infantry Regiment, said Zachariah Fike, the Vermont Army National Guard captain who founded Purple Hearts Reunited.

"The accounts suggest that he was out on patrol and he got ambushed and he charged ahead and basically took out a machine gun position to save the rest of his guys," said Fike, whose organization has returned some two dozen medals. "For that, he paid the ultimate sacrifice."

He was awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star posthumously, but for some reason the family never was told about the Silver Star and it was never sent to them, Fike said.

Merin's mother never talked in detail to her daughter about Markel.

"It was a very difficult topic for her. When my father died, she was seven months pregnant with me," Merin said.

Her mother briefly remarried when Merin was 10 but her stepfather died three years later, Merin said.

Her mother moved into the apartment in 1960 and may have placed the Purple Heart in the locker then, Merin said. Her mother lived there until 1975 before moving away, and Merin's aunt lived there until 2005. Another aunt lived there until 2009.

They never spoke about what was in the locker, and the family must have missed the box when they took away the aunts' possessions in 2005 and 2009, Merin said.

Merin said that in addition to the Purple Heart, which Pike kept for framing, the box contained letters and other papers, and her father's Jewish prayer book.

"I found it very hard to look at. A lot of them were condolence letters," she said.

Merin's mother was told about the discovery of the Purple Heart but didn't live to see it — she died Feb. 1 at age 94.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee