During WWII, my father, Captain E. J. McCully, served as a Regimental Personnel Officer. Here is an entry, dated 8 Dec 1944, from one of his journals:
One of the depressing aftereffects of processing these Battle Casualty Reports is beginning to make itself evident; many of the wives and mothers of the casualties are writing me for more details, and heartless though it seems, all I can do is to refer them . . . as I am not allowed to divulge casualty information of any kind. Night after night, as I sign the seemingly countless records with the ominous terms "KIA" or "MIA" on them, I think, "How long, O God, how long?"
It is sobering to read these words. The passage underscores the ultimate sacrifice made by many WWII soldiers--and the effect it had on their families. The soldiers who died were in the prime of life. They were young men just beginning their adult lives. Many left wives, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers behind. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices they made or take them for granted.