A special gathering
This is a picture of my father, George Tripler, on the banks of the Elba River in Czechoslovakia in 1945. (He’s the one in the American uniform, third from the left.) It was here that the Americans made contact with the Russians during the end days of World War II.
My father was in the 1st Infantry, 5th Field Artillery Battalion.
When I went to Russia in 2004 for a tour of Stalingrad, I took this photo with me. I would show it to Russian War veterans and all of them would look at it and then say, “Elba! Elba!”
The Russians never forgot that this was where the two sides met, and then I was accepted as one of their friends.
P.S. They all wanted Lucky Strike cigarettes.