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Coastal Living travel magazine’s choice as the best in America brings back some long-ago memories. My uncle operated a small Ocean City hotel near the beach. In the summer of 1946, my brother and I, just returned from World War 2 service, got a free week in a tiny room behind the check-in counter. It was both an enjoyable and sad family occasion, because it included a belated funeral for our uncle’s son, Morty. He had been killed by the Germans as a prisoner of war. How he died is an ironic story.

Morty, who had been in New Jersey prison for thievery, was released early in 1944 when he agreed to be drafted into the Army. Ironically, he was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and was once again a prisoner, this time by Germans. American POWs were starving until Morty stole food for them by raiding German supplies at night. He was caught and killed.

Morty was posthumously awarded the Silver Star medal for bravery. His funeral in a cemetery near Ocean City was attended by high-ranked political and military officials. During the service, my brother and I had both tears and laughter for our heroic, thieving cousin Morty.

 
 
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