EXPIRED: 11/11/09 – Miriam Cohen, 101, was born in Brooklyn and got a degree at Smith College. She had planned to do a lot in life, probably the last of which was to fight a war. But when Uncle Sam called on women to help battle Hitler, Cohen, a woman of proud Jewish heritage, answered the call.
In 1943, she graduated in the first class of WWII women Marines. At 35, she was one of the oldest women to do so. She handled sensitive documents in USMC headquarters in Washington, freeing up a man who would normally handle those duties to go overseas to fight.
Cohen also served in the Korean War, and then after her years with the Marines, took a job with the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS.
Later in life, she volunteered at Brooklyn’s VA Hospital and local orphanages.
At 93, after an argument with her landlord, she moved to Tucson, Arizona. She didn’t think twice about living alone. It was that can-do attitude that got her through life on her own – no husband, no pets – just her friends and her fortitude.
Oh, and her Marine family.
She fittingly died on Veteran’s Day, this year. The entire country paid tribute.