RICHARD W. KEENE, JR.


Chances are, on that fall day in 1945, when Richard Keene, Jr. was born in Batavia, in Genessee County, New York, Interstate 90, that connects Rochester and Buffalo, was not even a consideration. The trip then had to be made on a two lane road and it took hours to get from one place to another. Not so today.

Richard Keene, Sr. remembers the day his son was born because the war had just ended in 1945. He was stationed aboard a cruiser in the Pacific, somewhere off the coast of Japan, and believed, in some small way, he and others that served during the war, helped make the world a safer place to raise children. His sacrifice was to help insure the safety of his child, and the children of others throughout the world.

Dick Jr., his father remembers, was 21 years old in 1967 and things had progressed well for him during his tour in the navy up to that fateful day in June. He had completed two cruises to Africa and was on his third. Chances are, this would be his last and he would be transferred to shore duty to fulfill his enlistment obligation. His fiancÚ and his Mom were preparing wedding invitations when the ill fated news came over the radio.

Dick Keene, Jr. was killed along with 33 other shipmates, his father said, because the crew was abandoned by their country and the treacherous actions of Israel has never been fully explained.

Finally, Richard Keene, Sr. said, I regret that my son and the others had to be part of one of the most outrageous, treacherous days in United States history.

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