ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque will honor an acclaimed World War II war correspondent who died before he was able to return home.
Ernie Pyle was known for publishing harrowing, firsthand accounts of the war and the sacrifices the young soldiers made, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2vtxf71). He was born in Dana, Indiana and had planned to move to Albuquerque before he was killed.
New Mexico has honored him since the legislature declared Aug. 3 as Ernie Pyle Day in 1945. Pyle's Albuquerque house was converted into the city's first branch library and is still in operation. The home was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
An Albuquerque middle school is also named after Pyle.
Event organizers will celebrate Pyle's 117th birthday on Thursday with a keynote address by longtime war correspondent Joe Galloway and a speech by a University of New Mexico journalism professor. The annual celebration is important to ensure that Pyle's legacy is not forgotten, they said.
"You can only hope in each of the wars that comes along to this country that somewhere out there is someone like Ernie Pyle who will go out and risk everything to tell the stories of the soldiers and Marines, the infantry, the people on the ground who are fighting that war," Galloway said.
Event organizers and participants hope that Pyle will one day receive his own national holiday.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com