Veterans Day 2012: The Waller Boys

Clockwise from lower left: Donald Waller, Maurice Waller, Joe Waller, Bill Waller, Graham Waller.

Five Sons of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Waller Are Servicemen

The Record is glad to present in its Service Men’s Corner this week another group of five fine young men, all brothers, now in the service of their country.

These are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Waller of Fentress. An interesting and significant feature of this story is that the young men pictured here are first cousins of the five Graham brothers that were featured in a recent issue of the Record, all being in the service. Their mothers, Vida Waller and Bruce Graham, are sisters and their fathers, Ed. Graham and Frank Waller, are cousins.

The Waller brothers pictured above are as follows: Joe Waller, U. S. Navy; Pfc. Maurice Waller, overseas; Pfc. Bill Waller, Hd. Co. 32 A. B., Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania; Cpl. Donald Waller, Base Weather Station, Luke Field, Phoenix, Ariz.; Pfc. Graham Waller, Co. B. 155 Inf., Camp Shelby, Miss.

The above pictures and script appeared in the San Marcos Record of January 29th and are reproduced here by the permission of that newspaper.

Mr. and Mrs. Waller and their sons are due thanks and admiration of all Americans for the sacrifices they are making for their country.

Source: Lockhart (TX) Post Register, 1943


Joe, Donald, and Graham served in the Pacific. Bill and Maurice served in Northern Europe. All returned. Bill came home deaf from bomb concussion and spent the next twenty years telling curious children that his hearing aid was a telephone. In 1967 and ’68, a new surgery being taught at the VA hospital in Houston restored his conversational hearing.

Armistice Day 1918: The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

«In Flanders' Fields» - published & illustrate...

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short years ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

~ John McCrae



John McCrae
Col. John McCrae--Image via Wikipedia

John McCrae was a Canadian physician serving as a field surgeon near Ypres in the spring of 1915, when he wrote “In Flanders Fields.” A fellow serviceman said McCrae wrote poem the day after officiating at the funeral of a friend and former student. Poppies “actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind” in the cemetery outside McCrae’s dressing station.

In December 1915, the poem was published in Punch. As a result of its popularity, the poppy became known in Allied countries as the “Flower of Remembrance.” It is recited in Remembrance Day ceremonies in Allied countries that contributed to World War I, especially in the UK and Canada. It is sometimes used at Memorial Day ceremonies in the United States. A quotation from the poem appears on the Canadian ten-dollar bill.

Anna E. Guerin of France and Moina Michael of the United States promoted the sale of artificial poppies to help wounded soldiers and those left destitute by the war. In the US, in 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars adopted the poppy as the official memorial flower. In 1924, the first poppy factory was built at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and unemployed and disabled veterans worked there, making poppies. The VFW copyrighted the name “Buddy Poppy,” coined by the poppy makers in tribute to buddies who had been killed or seriously disabled in the war. Veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities now assemble poppies. The VFW distributes about 14 million annually. Proceeds go to help veterans and their widows, widowers, and orphans.



In the former British Empire, Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the US) is also known as Poppy Day. It is celebrated on November 11, the date in 1918 when World War I was formally ended. In the US, poppies are sold to commemorate Memorial Day, in May.

Col. John McCrae died of pneumonia in 1918. 

A paper poppy, worn in the United Kingdom from...
"An artificial corn poppy, made of plastic and cardboard by disabled ex-servicemen, worn in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries from late October to Remembrance Sunday in support of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal and to remember those servicemen and women who died in war." -- via Wikipedia


Image of In Flanders Fields by stoiexia via flickr, CC By 2.0  

Image of John McCrae by William Notman and Son (Guleph Museums, Reference No. M968.354.1.2x) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Image of poppy by Philip Stevens (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Material for this post was drawn from the following websites:

Arlington National Cemetery

“In Flanders Fields,” Wikipedia 

United States Department of Veteran Affairs  

“‘In Flanders Fields’ Still Inspires,” John Lundberg, Huffington Post  

“In Flanders Fields,”


“‘Dulce et decorum est’…to Wear a Poppy”

“Poppy Pride or Poppy Fascism?”