~ In his State of the City Address this morning, Mayor Ken McClure announced that World War II veteran Jack Hamlin will be receiving the Key to the City at 1:30 p.m. at The Montclair Senior Living. The ceremony will take place at 1000 E. Montclair St.

Born in Springfield in 1921, Hamlin has deep roots in the community. He attended Springfield High School, now known as Central High School, and went on to study at Drury University. In 1939, he even played Minor League Baseball for the New York Yankees' farm club in Joplin.

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However, when World War II broke out, Hamlin put his dreams of a baseball career on hold and joined the Coast Guard like many other young men at the time. Despite being initially deemed unfit for service due to a childhood illness, he was determined to serve his country and joined the Coast Guard.

Little did he know that he would soon find himself crossing the English Channel on June 6, 1944 - D-Day - exactly 80 years ago today. Mayor McClure expressed his admiration for Hamlin's bravery and sacrifice during this pivotal moment in history.

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