WWII Vet Visits Grand Avenue

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Bernie Rader, World War II veteran and prisoner of war, shared his war experiences with eighth grade students at Grand Avenue Middle School recently.

Bernie Rader served in occupied France and was part of a 55 man patrol from the 9th Infantry division.  Rader was wounded by mortar fire and captured by Germans in Brittany in 1944. He spent 45 days in a German prisoner of war hospital. He was freed in an unprecedented prisoner of war exchange arranged by Andrew Hodges, a young International Red Cross Field Director.

Rader is the recipient of a Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. In 2007, former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy presented Rader with the prestigious French Legion of Honor Award. The Legion of Honor Award was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and it honors soldiers and civilians who have who have made a significant contribution to French life.

Bernie s wife June, and his sister, Gloria Katz shared their experiences of sacrifice on the American home front.

“Bernie encouraged students to think about service to their community and country,” said Karen McGuinness, the district Social Studies Chairperson.