Free event Features Untold Stories of World War II from Local Veterans
“The Greatest Generation,” the men and women who grew up in the United States during the Great Depression and then went on to fight in World War II, will be honored at the annual Veterans Day celebration at the ArtsQuest Center Nov. 11, 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the free event, “The Greatest Generation: Untold Stories of World War II,” to hear first-hand accounts of veterans’ experiences while protecting and serving our nation.
“The Greatest Generation” is presented by Embassy Bank and made possible through a partnership between Phoebe Ministries, Lehigh University Veterans Association and ArtsQuest. The event kicks off with a reception, featuring light refreshments, in the ArtsQuest Center Creativity Commons, followed by the 7 p.m. presentation and a screening of the PBS documentary “The Ghost Army.”
Speakers for “The Greatest Generation” include Joseph Christ, who worked for years in German Prisoner of War camps on American soil and in 1946 helped transport nearly 2,000 German army prisoners to France on what ultimately turned out to be a devastating mission; and Rudolph Langston, a Native American who served overseas in Allied Occupied Japan then returned home and started a long career in law enforcement. Moderator for the evening is Frank Gunter, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel and head of Lehigh University’s Veterans Association.
The evening will also include a Presentation of the Colors by the Steel Battalion ROTC unit and a screening of “The Ghost Army,” the film by Rick Beyer that tells the story of a top secret WWII unit filled with artists that used inflatable tanks, sound effects and illusion to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe (Among the unit’s members was noted fashion designer Bill Blass). During the evening, ArtsQuest will be collecting donations for The Ghost Army Legacy Project, the nonprofit started to honor and preserve the legacy of the infantry unit.
The ArtsQuest Center is located at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. Anyone interested in attending the Greatest Generation event should reserve tickets by calling the ArtsQuest Center Box Office at 610-332-3378 or visiting the Box Office in person. For more information, visit www.steelstacks.org.
Joseph Christ of Center Valley served in the U.S. Army for the Military Police Corps as a guard during World War II. As a fluent German speaker, Christ bypassed basic training and went directly into service due to his “indispensable” skills. He was stationed at German Prisoner of War camps in the United States and took part in a prisoner transportation mission in Europe. After his discharge in 1946 as a decorated veteran, Christ attended Moravian College under the GI Bill and became a teacher. Later in life, he was offered a Fulbright teaching assignment for which he spent two years teaching in Ulm, Germany.
Rudolph Langston, of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in King William, Va., joined the U.S. Army on a whim when some of his classmates said they were going to enlist. Out of the group, Langston was the only one who actually did and went on to serve with the 24th Infantry Division in Japan during the Allied Occupation of the country in 1946. After his service, Langston, now a resident of Phoebe Richland Health Care Center, began a long career in law enforcement including the Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, the PA Attorney General’s Office and the New Kent County, Va. Sheriff’s Department. He also worked for the Philadelphia Board of Education and as a private investigator.