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Several images have been incorporated on this page in order to provide
continuity of this important time-line of some of the several letter
exchanges between Lorraine Marks-Haislip and officials.
| The following
letters prove that one person CAN make a difference. Many hours
and many letters later, the rewards were that the men were given
due the proper respect after years of waiting.
Please, read carefully the powerful communiqué (left) from
the White House, dated May 20, 2002.
Desiree Thompson, Special Assistant to the President and
Director of Presidential Correspondence, wrote this response
prior to the Presidents' visit to the International Memorial
Cemetery in Normandy, France for Memorial Day Services.
The first paragraph 'thanked us for contacting the White
House regarding our situation with a Federal agency.' Slip and I
were unaware that our request, dated November 29, 2001, had been
addressed by the President or that action had already been
| From our motel
room in Dillon, Montana we saw President Bush walk through the
rows of white crosses Because I had referred to 'White Crosses'
in my fervent plea, the white crosses were very significant.
That act by President Bush confirmed in my heart that he had
received our letter.
At this point I will include a copy (left) of our
impassioned, urgent request concerning the remaining 178 unknown
Pearl Harbor fatalities that had been denied recognition on each
grave in time for the 60th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl
As you read the following correspondence and comments you
will understand why the letter to and from the White House was
businesses in the Phoenix Metropolitan area joined forces and
252 white crosses were
shipped to Hawaii in time for temporary installation on
designated unknown grave sites in time for the 60th Anniversary
Ceremonies in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific,
also known as Punchbowl.
Moore Graphics, Kevin A. Moore, owner, put us in touch with
his 'sign guy', Thomas Bogan, Signwright, Signs of All Kinds,
who designed the crosses according to our specifications and
prepared the cross arm according to Ray Emory's facts and
figures. He was so interested in our project that he contacted
"SIGNS UNLIMITED" whose new facilities could handle the
construction, painting and the addition of the black lettering
by Thomas Bogan on all 252 cross arms. Eric DuFriend, SIGNS
UNLIMITED, contacted Dave Coles, LYDEN AIR FREIGHT, concerning
the shipment of the two crates that contained the completed
crosses. LYDEN AIR FRIEGHT shipped the crates from a Los Angeles
Port, October 23, 2001 with expected arrival date in Hawaii to
be October 29 or 30, 2001.
| That was the
exact date I received the letter (left), dated October 15, 2001,
from Robin Higgins, the political appointee to the coveted
position as Under Secretary of Memorial Affairs for the
Department of Veterans Affairs. She responded to our letter to
DVA Secretary Anthony J. Principi.
Because the USS ARIZONA had been engraved on new granite
grave markers and installed before the 60th Anniversary
Ceremonies in 2001, we, Lorraine E. Marks-Haislip and my
husband, Charles W. Haislip, who served aboard the Arizona from
September 1936 until May 1941 wanted to make sure that all
unidentifiable casualties killed at Pearl Harbor on 7 December
1941 would be remembered in time at the 60th anniversary, we
paid for those crosses (see letter below left). Why! Because we
owed those men, who not only gave the ultimate sacrifice, but
their God given identities, more than we can ever repay.
No response from the DVA or the security division was
| It was at that time Slip and I
faced another personal tragedy. My youngest daughter and Slips step
daughter, Robin Marks, was dying from cancer and I flew to her side. She
died November 5, 2001, the second of our youngest daughters to die from
that dreaded disease in five months. When I returned home on
thanksgiving, I decided to write a personal letter just to President
Bush and ask for his intervention because of the denial by the DVA and
the continued refusal by the Army Mortuary Affairs even after General
Eric Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff informed the late Honorable Patsy T.
Mink, Representative from Hawaii, that there would be no more delays. No
more correspondence was received.
After we opened our extensive stack of mail, I called Ray Emory and
read him the May 20, letter I had received from the White House. Read,
again, that letter at the beginning. The key word is 'further.' Action
that had already been undertaken was more extensive that we realized.
During a telephone conversation with Ms. Corduff, I learned she was the
only employee in the entire Army MA&CSD. She stated the place was empty!
When I told Ray Emory what Ms. Courduff said, he replied that a decision
of that magnitude had to come from a higher office than General
| Last Spring
Ray Emory called and informed me that his contacts in
Washington, D.C. told him, "They are cleaning house back here."
My last letter from Anthony J. Principi, DVA Secretary, was
written April 12, 2002. He wrote in the past tense.
That is when Slip and I left for our two and one half month
trip and our stop in Dillion, Montana as I have stated earlier.
When we returned the end of July, I contacted Ray Emory to
learn what had occurred while we were away. A very excited Ray
Emory reported that I did not have to write any more 'unknown
grave marker' letters. General Shinseki, Chief of Staff for the
Army, had sent Gisela M. Courduff, Chief, Memorial Affairs &
Administration Branch, Casualty & Memorial Affairs Operations
Center for the Department of the Army, to Hawaii to inform
Eugene Castagnetti, Superintendent at Punchbowl (NMCP) that he
was to order the new 178 grave markers that would identify the
ships of the remaining unidentifiable Pearl Harbor fatalities
before 7 December 2002!
Another announcement from a DVA employee, confirmed that Robin
Higgins, political appointee to the coveted position as Under Secretary
of Memorial Affairs, as of September 1, 2002, is no longer in that
position and Roger Rapp, as I understand is the highest civilian
employee in the DVA, Memorial Affairs, has retired.
My last letter to the Honorable George Bush, President of these
United States, dated September 4, 2002, stated,
"On behalf of the unidentifiable Pearl Harbor fatalities, we thank
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