Back to 2010 pictures

Saturday, May 29, 2010
Memorial service in Dubuque for Alphonse Birmingham 1926-2010
There are no pictures of the gathering in Dubuque, but we do have a few pictues of Al, one of our mother's brothers.
Al's 1942 high school graduation

and Loras College graduation in 1949

Al served in World War II in the US Army, as did his brother Adrian

Al in dress uniform

Al home from the war, with his parents, Easter Sunday, 1946
Al's account of his homecoming is here
Al with his brother Adrian, boys on the farm, about 1928

Al and Adrian in uniform, undated

Al Birmingham’s Easters, 1945 & 1946

Al loved to tell the story of coming home from the war. He fought in the Philippines and came home at dawn on April 21, 1946, stepping off a train in Elma, Iowa, that he had boarded the day before at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Nobody knew that he was on his way.

Al walked from the depot to the home of his older brother Pat, dropped his bags on the kitchen floor (no locked doors in Elma in those days), and said, "Stand up and shake hands with a man." Evidently that's what Pat did. Then the brothers drove to the family farm near Lourdes, a few miles away. Their parents were at church, so Al and Pat went to church too. It was Easter Sunday. Al had turned 20 just two months earlier.

Some 60 years later, when Tom and I visited him in Reno, Al smiled when looked back at Easter 1946. He remembered his welcome after Mass, with everybody congratulating him and shaking his hand. "It was the greatest day of my life," he said. It must have been some celebration for his family to see their son and brother return from the War at the same time they celebrated Christ's resurrection from the dead.

August 8, 2022