A true American hero remembered

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thirty-six years ago, I met Joseph Edwin Borne. To his friends, he was known as Ed, a proud, retired Marine sergeant who served in World War II and the Korean War.

During the second World War, Ed was on Wake Island when, after one of the Marine’s most courageous stands of the war, the Japanese overpowered our troops, and he was captured and spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Last Saturday, retired sergeant Joseph Edwin Borne passed away at age 89. Ed’s generation is called “the greatest generation.” Ed loved his country and lived and believed that once a Marine, always a Marine.

He was the first commander of the Louisiana State Department American Ex-Prisoners of Wars Inc., South Louisiana Chapter American Prisoner of War Commander and a member of USMC 1st Defense Battalion Wake Island.

Ed spent the last two years of his life as a resident of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve.

At the visitation prior to the funeral Mass, I met a few members of Ed’s family. I spoke to his sister, Rosemary Elfer of LaPlace, whom I’ve known for many years. Years ago, while talking to her about Ed, she shared that she and her mother joined the WAC during the war on the same day. I also learned that another sister of his, Marcia Miranda, was also in the WAC during the war, and his deceased brother, Claiborne, was in the Navy.

I never get tired of hearing about the men and women who were a part of “the greatest generation.”

Ed will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

I’m reminded of the following African proverb: “When an old man dies, a whole library is buried with him.”

Ed Borne was a true American hero, with so many untold stories.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call (985) 652-8477, or e-mail: hkeller@comcast.net.