Our Neighbor Joe You probably have a neighbor just like him

Thankful Generations WWII beaded tapestry

Our neighbor, Joe, served in World War II like many in his generation. He heroically served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. On his ship, LST-47, he traveled from the United States to Nova Scotia, England, Scotland, France, Algeria, Italy, Norfolk, Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan. He and his shipmates supported the D-Day invasion in June 1944, dropping off troops and supplies at Utah and Omaha Beaches, while transporting wounded personnel and over 1,000 German prisoners. All of this before he turned 20 years old!

According to the NavSource online website, during World War II USS LST-47 was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters and participated in the following campaigns: Invasion of Normandy, 6 to 25 June 1944, the Invasion of southern France, 15 August to 25 September 1944, and the Okinawa Gunto operation, 26 to 30 June 1945

The background photo shows LSTs landing on Omaha Beach to deliver supplies, shortly after the June 6, 1944 D-Day assault. Joe’s ship, LST-47 is among the ships pictured here.


My parents are a few years younger than Joe, but old enough to have been small children during WWII. My mother was a very young girl who lived through the treachery of war on the island of Okinawa, and is the most resilient person I know. My father, an Irish American from Worcester, Massachusetts, met mom in the 1950’s during his early years in the Air Force when he was stationed in Okinawa.

I was reminded of my desire to do this commemorative project when I visited my parents in 2012 and had a chance to meet their neighbor, Joe. He talked about his time during the war, and I made the connection that he was one of the many brave sailors and soldiers who helped liberate the world during these crucial years. Incredulous as it seems, during his service perhaps he even met a little Okinawan child named Kay who grew up to be his neighbor ...

This photograph is of my bead tapestry pattern, generated from Joe’s photograph transposed into a workable pattern using BeadTool4 software. Each letter on the pattern is associated with a different bead color.

To honor Joe and the many men and women of his generation, I created the Thankful Generations Project, depicting vintage photographs from WWII in beaded tapestries. This is the twelfth tapestry created thus far. It is in fact Joe and my parents who inspired me to undertake this labor of love.

My project continues to highlight the freedoms we enjoy as the “thankful generations” who followed this greatest generation in the world after WWII. The photos above show pieces of my process, including the pattern I transpose from vintage photographs, to the loom and materials I use to create my tapestries.
Tapestry completed in June 2018. Dimensions are 7.25”x10.25”. There are approximately 22,000 Delica precision cut beads in this project, which took more than 40 hours over several months to complete.

Thank you, Joe, for your service to our magnificent country. Our freedoms are precious gifts from your generation to ours.

To see more Thankful Generations tapestry projects, please follow the links below.

Created By
Maureen Kenney

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