“Pearl Harbor was on a Sunday. Monday at school we had our first air raid test”
On Saturday, March 22, Monroe Mayer visited the Lower Manhattan StoryBooth with his son Livian Mayer and Livian’s girlfriend, Petrina Palazzo, to discuss his coming of age in New York during WWII. Monroe is one of those real native New Yorkers who can recall not only watching the Twin Towers go down but also watching the George Washington Bridge go up. By 13, he was an air raid messenger who would scurry messages from police officials to the air raid wardens positioned around the city. He remembers the imposed blackouts and the miles of ships in the Hudson River. Monroe is a great storyteller too. Petrina keeps prompting him on with, “ooh, and tell that one.” He could go on and on, from being drafted in 1946, to getting the German measels, to even having to guard the German physicist Wernher Von Braun once he, along with 500 of his top rocket scientists, surrendered to the Americans. At 80, Monroe Mayer is still a practicing attorney and the national commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. Monroe is a charming and humble man. Sharing these stories remind us that his story unfolds our shared history.
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