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WWII veteran to be remembered with book about his life

Gene Moran (middle)
Gene Moran (middle)(wsaw)
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The author of a book about World War II veteran Gene Moran and some of Moran’s family members will be talking about his miraculous tale twice this weekend.

On Sunday at 6:00 you can see them at the UWSP Wausau campus, and Monday at 12:30 they’ll be at the Edgar High School auditorium.

Moran was a gunner in the war, stationed out of a base in England.  He survived a four-mile fall in the back half of a flying fortress and survived.  It was the people along the way that helped him return home.

“Building relationships, helping each other out in the POW camps, in different marches, even in the hull of a ship in the Baltic Sea, he met people from Wisconsin,” said Edgar Elementary School teacher and event organizer Colin Hanson.

Moran’s daughter Joni is also a teacher  retired now.

Her colleague John Armbruster heard her father’s story and his passion for history drove his need to tell the tale.

“And I went silent and said, ‘We don’t go there.’  And he said, ‘What do you mean we don’t go there?’” Joni said.

After a while Joni and Armbruster wore Moran down and he agreed to commit his story to paper. Hanson believes his story and others like his are important to celebrate veterans.

“I was never in the service, but I get to do what I love being a teacher because of our veterans,” Hanson said.

Gene’s daughter couldn’t agree more.

“Most of us have no idea about the human cost of things, and the sacrifices that veterans continually have shared.”

The talks are free, and if you’d like to learn more about Gene’s story the book will be available at the events and can be signed by the author.

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