American Experience
Firsthand Accounts Firsthand Accounts
Jean Ponder AllenKeith HackettMike AriasDiane Sikorski KramerJane BrotmanJim RowenJack CipperlyPaul SoglinJoe CostelloClark Welch
BeforeOctober 1967AftermathReflections

Diane Sikorski Kramer (2:11) video | transcript

On October 20th I remember being in my bedroom and the doorbell rang and my dad and stepmom were at the kitchen table having coffee so I answered the door and there were two little windows in the front wooden door and I peeked out and I saw a soldier in uniform and I knew right then on the spot that that was not a soldier coming to visit and my heart just fell to my feet because I knew, I just knew why he was there.

And when I opened the door I asked him to step inside and he did and he asked me if Edmund Sikorski was home and I told him to come in. I went in the kitchen and told my dad that a soldier was here to see him and the look on my dad's face, I'm sure he thought exactly what I thought. And he came in the living room with my stepmother and when the soldier, I don't remember if he asked us to sit down, I don't really remember, I just remember that he was giving the bad news.

All I could hear, my head went blank and I remember just being so cold and shaking and just holding my arms real tight, I didn't want to hear it. And I do remember him saying, "Killed in action" and that after he said that, I don't really remember much of anything. I just remember standing there like I was just stripped naked and just there.

And my dad was yelling from deep in his heart, "Oh God! No, not Danny. Why couldn't God take me instead?"

More about Diane Sikorski Kramer

Two Days in October American Experience PBS