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A Hero Connected

I posted a military page in my Kelly Family Tree for a second cousin, twice removed—Sylvester Milas Bolick. He was not in my direct line but I was fascinated by him because he was killed in World War II, is buried in Belgium and had received a Purple Heart. 

In February, I got an e-mail out of the blue from a man in Belgium who had found the public military page I had set up for Sylvester last year. As a teenager, this Belgian man adopted the grave of Sylvester Milas Bolick, a fallen soldier of WWII who was buried at the American Cemetery and Memorial of Henri-Chapelle, Belgium “to whom (among others) I owe the freedom and liberty I enjoy today.” This young man did some research through the NARA and other places trying to find information about that man whose grave he has tended twice a year since he was twelve-years old. (He will be 30 in June.) Prior to that, his godfather had tended the grave. So, out of curiosity, this Belgian man has after many years finally decided to try and find more information on Sylvester.

The story does not end here. I have found probably about six or seven cousins through my research in Ancestry, including one who was a niece to Sylvester Milas Bolick. I put her in contact with this Belgian man, and now this Belgian man has passed along all of the research he has found to Sylvester’s family and me and has even sent us color photographs of Sylvester’s headstone and all the NARA information he received (which the family did not have).  

Sylvester’s name and photo and known history have now been added to the Adoptiegraven database  which we were not even aware of. 

Rhea Kelly
Kelly Family Tree