On April 29 more than 200 people joined together to honor the life of William “Wild Bill” Guarnere. Wild Bill was an iconic paratrooper as well as honored and beloved husband and father. Wild Bill’s bravery was featured in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The popular series was created with insight from Wild Bill and other surviving troops from Easy Company, and during the memorial a letter Tom Hanks wrote about working with Wild Bill was read. Family and friends gathered to laugh and cry as they shared stories and memories about a man of great courage and strength.
Wild Bill was part of Easy Company in World War II in the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division. As a paratrooper he landed behind enemy lines to clear the way for troops before they landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He was injured during the rescue of a soldier in the Battle of the Bulge and received the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and two Bronze Stars. One of his fellow servicemen told a story of how he and Wild Bill actually threw apples at German soldiers in lieu of grenades because their apple supply was overflowing! He earned his nickname through his larger than life attitude, and his crazy experiences will be remembered for years to come.
The music performed by the Quaker City String Band reverberated through the packed center as Wild Bill’s life was celebrated. In attendance was City Councilman David Oh, Admiral Joe Sestak, and Justice Seamus P. McCaffery. Justice McCaffery gave a beautiful speech about meeting Wild Bill and it seemed that each person who met him was touched by his loving and laughing nature. JPG has a commitment to documenting non-profit and charitable events in Philadelphia and this memorial at the Kimmel Center was a great experience for us to show our support for good causes and events.
Gustavo and myself were honored to be asked by Annie from Clever Wedding Ideas to capture the memorial. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the commemoration of Wild Bill. Link up to our blog to see the other non-profits we have teamed up with and keep us in mind for your future events!