Agnes' Story: The Women's Memorial Registry

Do you remember Agnes?! Well she is a remarkable woman! I have been talking with her since we met on the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois back in May.

While we toured The Women's Memorial, we viewed her information in the registry. They had her name, rank and where she was stationed but that was all. I told her when we got back that I would help tell her story and send it to the memorial in Washington D.C.

My first visit with her, she showed me her 35mm slides that she had not been able to see in decades. They are pictures from when she was stationed in Munich, Germany. I researched for weeks until I found a company that would develop, digitize and return her original films. I ordered a kit from Legacy Box and we packed up about 175 slides today. Needless to say, Agnes is happy and excited to be able to see them again. We both can't wait to get them back.

After visiting her and learning her story, I sent it off to The Women's Memorial. Take a moment to her history and legacy.

Agnes (Lichtenberger) Edwards:

Agnes Edwards, formally Agnes Lichtenberger, was born October 8th, 1930. She resides in Eldorado, IL. She was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army and served as a nurse. Agnes served in Munich, Germany for one year and 28 days. When she was discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.

Agnes told me about her family ancestry coming from Germany. Agnes' grandfather, Charles Lichtenberger, immigrated from Germany circa 1860. Charles came over on a boat called The Two Brothers with his parents and siblings. Otto Lichtenberger, Agnes' father, was a soldier in the Army and served in Word War I. Agnes' aunt, Esther Lichtenberger, who was an Army nurse that served in World War II, graciously loaned Agnes money for tuition to get her nursing degree.

I asked Agnes what it felt like to be in Germany for the first time, returning to her family's homeland? She said it was nostalgic and emotional. Agnes said she was able to call home occasionally but chose to take time and write home in the afternoons. I asked Agnes what drove her to join the Army. She told me that when she finished nursing school, she saw what the Red Cross did and how much they helped. She also told me that her Aunt Esther, who served in WWII, was a huge influence for her joining the Army. Agnes went over to Germany with two friends who were also Army nurses, Colleen and Nancy. The three nurses went through OTS (officer training school) together. Although they were not stationed together, they spent a lot of their free time sight seeing and eating at German diners. Agnes received two medals for her service in Germany. The Army of Occupation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Agnes was humble. She said "I just did what my job required and what felt like the right thing to do as a nurse and they gave me medals for it I guess." Her service has had a profound impact on so many people. Her grandfather, father, aunt and now Agnes herself left their mark on history. Agnes' granddaughter is now becoming a nurse as well, to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother. "Legacy is not leaving something for people. It's leaving something in people." -Peter Strople



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