The Greatest Generation

My Great Uncle Carl Grossman was invited by Tom Brokaw to the dedication of a new venue at the National World War 2 Museum in New Orleans.  The event was held on November 5 and 6th.  I have attached a newspaper clip from the New Orleans Times-Picayune detailing the event and also an Associated Press clip describing the new  WW II documentary that is playing in the new theater there.  The ceremonies were held to unveil the theater and documentary, narrated by Tom Hanks.

Tom Brokaw arranged for Wal-Mart to fly down Uncle Carl and his wife on its private jet, accompanied by Wal-Mart VP Joe Venezia, a graduate of West Point.  Wal-Mart also paid for all of their expenses in New Orleans. This came about after Brokaw learned that Uncle Carl was the last of eight Grossman brothers from Pittsburgh who fought in World War II, and that Uncle Carl, who will be 90 in December, was still working, as a greeter at the Wal-Mart in Troy, Michigan, in the Detroit area, where he has lived since the 1950’s.


Left: Tom Hanks & Carl Grossman. Right: Tom Brokaw & Carl Grossman

Several family members attended and were part of a VIP group of about 250 people Thursday night, Nov. 5, who saw a red carpet preview of the new museum documentary, Beyond All Boundaries.  At a reception that followed, Brokaw  asked Uncle Carl to stand up and told of his and his brothers’ service in WW II; he  said that the only way he could get Uncle Carl – who did not want to miss a day’s work — to the reception was to ask the chairman of Wal-Mart to give him a day off and fly him down. Uncle Carl received a rousing round of applause, and afterward was approached by numerous guests who wanted to meet him.

On Friday, he was among 250 WW II vets  — men and women —  who marched into the large official outdoor ceremony dedicating the new wing of the museum.  In addition to Brokaw and Hanks, the speakers included Sen. George McGovern, who was  a bomber pilot in WW II, and Mickey Rooney.

Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, Uncle Carl was interviewed for several hours inside the museum by the Today Show, which is preparing a feature on him and the Fighting Grossmans to air sometime in December (when I know the date, I shall inform you).

The museum events and the reactions of the people who attended were memorable, emotional, and inspiring.  As the documentary and the speakers stated, the dedication of the men and women who fought in WW II literally saved our country and changed America and the world  — and we must remember and honor them ,and the lessons of WW II , before they all pass. If you want to learn a little more about the museum, go to

Oh — also take a look at the attached photos of Uncle Carl with the two Toms –Hanks and Brokaw.  Uncle Carl is the young and handsome guy on the right!

My sincere thanks to Tom Brokaw and Sam Walton along with Joe Venezia of Wal-Mart for their kindness to my Amazing and Great uncle Carl Grossman.  Uncle Carl is 90 and refuses to stop working or take a day off.   He is now a Greeter at Wal-Mart in Michigan.

There were 11 children (10 boys and one girl, the youngest.   Eight of the brothers served our nation in World War II and all survived to lead productive lives.   They are truly the “Greatest  Generation”!

Happy Veterans Day To All Those Who Serve, Past & Present,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
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