Then we started dating. She's one of more thanwomen from continental Europe who ended up as war brides. Much like Rosie the Riveter, cadet nurses, and Susan Ahn Cuddy — the first female gunnery officer in the Navy — war brides contributed in their own ways to change American history.
The U. This act stemmed from the Chinese Exclusion Act and created the visa system for immigrants. It's easy to imagine how GIs were looking for companionship through the locals and ended up finding love in the process. In fact, so many GIs married women from overseas that the U. The act expedited the immigration process for mainly European war brides and their children. The act extended this privilege to Asian war brides who were ly barred from coming to the U.
Stories of other war brides and their experiences were also published.
Her living room mantle displays pictures from the past and present, giving visitors a visual family tree. On Sundays, her family went into town where the main cathedral stood.
They would go to the movies and eat ice cream at the park. The calmness of her life changed as political tensions in Europe heightened.
Her family helped those who were persecuted by the Gestapo and Nazis. Lawson said there was a church basement in her hometown where many people went into hiding. Her family made food baskets for those crammed in the basement. She remembers leaving her house at night, with her older sister and father, to help American and British soldiers.
Lawson spent her teenage years hiding from bombs and working with her father on the Belgian streetcar system. Amid the war, she graduated from college and became a nurse.
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She said becoming a nurse allowed her to get a Red Cross card, which helped her maneuver through police checkpoints. One day, a year-old Lawson and her mother were in town after watching a movie in This is when Lawson met the love of her life. He worked in an Army division that handled logistics. He saw Alice from across the street and approached her. A few months later, they married.
John converted to Catholicism in the Army, and Alice's family said he converted to be with her. She still keeps the memories of going to midnight Mass together and remembers his communion taking place in the church she grew up in. Although there was a language barrier between the couple, the romance was electrifying in the relationship.
After the wedding, the Lawsons spent two weeks in the quiet Belgian countryside for their honeymoon.
This was the day she left everything and everyone she knew, she was going to move to America with her new husband. Alice said she still remembers the isolating fear and loneliness cloaking her body as she waved goodbye to her family while the train chugged on. After arriving in Antwerp, Alice and a cluster of other European war brides hopped on a ship to Ellis Island. A few months before Alice arrived in America, John was sent to fight in Japan.
However, in the middle of his voyage, the U. The scene of rural Alabama shocked Alice, and it was completely different from the glitz of her industrial hometown. At one point, Alice and her husband lived in a chicken coop lined with paper.
They moved to Michigan to find work at the auto factories. Her husband hustled and bounced between odd jobs, determined to find stable work.
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He would bartend and work any job to make some extra money. Alice loved Detroit and enjoyed jumping on the streetcar system to get a ride downtown.
Seven children — and many grandchildren later — Alice still lives in the same home she bought with her husband. He processed the carnage with his bare eyes and mind.
The story of a lincoln park war bride who married in the middle of world war ii
Johnny said both of his parents are strong people who uprooted their own lives for love. Contact Slone Terranella: Sterranella freepress. Follow her on Twitter SloneTerranella.
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