THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
of September, 2005
by Bill Heinz
President, 3rd Armored Division Association
I am honored to be your President for 2006. I joined this organization
on July 17, 1948 at the City Club in Boston. It's hard to believe
that was 57 years ago. We have a great group and I have made
many friends over the years. I feel privileged to be a member
of this great organization and I want to share some of my favorite
experiences with you.
My first reunion was in 1954 in Reading, PA. I remember along
with Archie Boyer having breakfast with General Hickey the Sunday
morning we left for home. He was a real gentleman and his last
words to us was "take it easy driving home as it is better
to be safe than sorry."
There was also the great time we had with the group in "92"
that took part in John O'Brien's tour of Europe. We made lifelong
friends that we are still are in contact with today. It reminds
us that we are one big family. I am sure you all remember our
Honorary President G. George Edmonson, he and my late wife Sarah
shared a common birthday, George's the anniversary of his heart
And most recently my participation on the committee that Bill
Ruth appointed in Columbus in 1999 to erect a monument to the
Division at Valley Forge, PA. This was the project of the late
John Gooden who was unable to fulfill his dream after he was
murdered in his law office. Ernie Gamble, Bill Ruth, the late
Dave Wolf and I were charged to make John's dream a reality.
No one thought we could do it but we proved them wrong. It was
left it to the Sec/Treas and I to come up with the money and
with your generosity we in fact exceeded our goal. About two
hundred spectators joined us at the dedication ceremony. My daughters
were both there and my youngest had a hand reach out of the crowd
and ask her if she knew Bill Heinz. She looked him in the eye
and asked him if he was kidding which he wasn't. He turned out
to be a retired lawyer by the name of Dan Crough whose father
was KIA at Grouven near the Erft Canal. Dan attended the dedication
with the hope of finding someone who could tell him what happened
to his dad. I was able to recount the events and give him the
date and almost the exact time his Dad's tank was knocked out.
My date was not the one the War Department sent to his mother,
but, I know mine was correct as a little over twelve hours later
I was on my way back to the hospital.
I look forward to seeing you all at the reunion in Washington
DC planned for October, 2006 at the Sheraton Arlington, VA.
||WILLIAM P. HEINZ