Oak Pointe Assisted Living hosts reunion for WWII veterans

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 5/7/24

Oak Pointe Assisted Living hosted a Two Bell Memorial service to honor WWII Navy Veterans.

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Oak Pointe Assisted Living hosts reunion for WWII veterans


Oak Pointe Assisted Living hosted a Two Bell Memorial service to honor WWII Navy Veterans and in particular, veterans of the Navy Aviation Repair and Overhaul Unit which operated in the Pacific Theater during the conflict. 

The guest of honor was Margie George, widow of the late Chief Petty Officer Joe George, and one of the last surviving members of what she described as a second family, in the AROU. The other surviving members, Rhesa Shaw, Walter Boyd and Herbert “Red” Camp attended via Zoom since they no longer travel due to their age. 

The ceremony started with organizer Tim Lewis delivering some history about the unit and the veterans who were being celebrated that day. 

Joe George joined the Navy in January 1941 preceding the attacks on Pearl Harbor and worked as an aircraft mechanic before joining the AROU. Lewis also spoke about Margie’s importance to the group describing her as the “matriarch” to their family. 

“I got a few things I want to mention here about Margie Goerge and her late husband, Joe George,” Lewis said. “We want to honor them because we’re here on behalf of her and him.”

He also spoke about the AROU and their important work in the Pacific Theater. The AROU was responsible for establishing outposts and installations to service planes from aircraft carriers as they neared Japanese airspace. 

The ceremony was attended by family members and residents of the community as well as members of other veterans organizations like the VFW, American Legion and the Marine Corps League. 

There was also an honor guard made up of local veterans along with a firing detail and a bugler at the ceremony. The service was led by Rev. Mark Meyer who began in prayer.

“We thank you for this AROU opportunity, this AROU unit that did what they were called upon to do, and even though their numbers have dwindled over the years, because of a calling home, we remember those that went before us and we also remember those that are still with us,” Meyer said. 

The “Two Bell Memorial” comes from naval tradition according to Lewis and is used to reflect on those who have passed on and those who are still with us. During the ceremony, a bell was rung twice to remember those who passed in the war, and those who have passed since the war. 

A somber air filled the room as the bell rang out between these statements and the firing detail filed outside for a 21 gun salute. 

At the end of the service, the bell was rung an additional three times, to recognize all the living veterans in attendance to thank them for their service. 

Margie said it was “inspiring” and “an honor” to represent her late husband and the AROU at the event and was thankful for the support she received. 

“A big part of this is family, it’s just another family,” Margie said. 

Veterans, Reunion