If you are a World War II veteran, are the family of one, or even acquainted with one and you know Barbara Keith, you likely have heard of the World War II Memorial registry.
That’s because Keith is a passionate advocate for getting the veterans registered so that they are honored and never forgotten.
I have known Keith for about a decade and have heard her pitch to get veterans honored for their service by remembering the sacrifices they made to keep the nation free.
It seemed that each time I would write about or even mention a World War II veteran in a story, I would get a call from Keith wanting to contact the veteran to get him or her registered.
The World War II registry is a listing of Americans who contributed to the war effort in uniform and on the home front. Names in the registry are forever linked to the memorial’s bronze and granite representations of their sacrifice and achievement. The listing can include a short narrative about the veteran’s service.
Registration is free. There is a fee to submit a photo.
Keith was known to the troops in Vietnam during the war as "Bobbie The Weather Girl," who presented the weather in a fun and entertaining way.
Today, retired and living in Suntree, Keith makes it a point to tell everyone about the registry. It all started after she volunteered during the opening of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. and learned about the registry. She immediately registered her father, John D. Marcus Keith, a graduate of The Citadel who served as an artillery officer at Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge. She then registered her mother, Ruth Lovejoy Hathaway Keith, in the U.S. Navy Memorial.
"This is forever," she said. "These people are honored forever for what they did to keep us free."
Keith has spoken to groups about the registry and said she is willing to help anyone get registered.
She said she has heard from people who tell her that their father or relative who served in World War II were already deceased. A loved one can be honored even though they have died.
"It breaks my heart that people don’t know that the opportunity exists to honor them in that way," she said.
To register or to search the registry, go to wwiimemorial.com
For general information, call 800-639-4992