World War II Veteran who is an interpreter is honored

Last Monday, a non profit organization named Honor Flight Bluegrass, posted a video of a World War II Navy veteran, Norma Lewis signing in a video.

Norma Lewis: I can’t wait to see all the men and women from World War II… and again to know we will be together again after the war 75 years ago… which is very hard to believe.

Renca: Their 75th anniversary for D-Day was hosted in Louisville, Kentucky last Friday. It was the largest gathering of WWII veterans in the state’s history. The youngest veteran was 91 and the oldest was 103. Lewis (96) was one of the few women to volunteer to serve the WWII.

To honor for her service, she got to ride in a B-25 plane for 20 minutes with 20 other veterans.

(Video clip)

The Daily Moth reached out to Lewis for an interview. The interview was taken through Convo relay service as a landline phone was only available for her to speak through.

Lewis shared her story about how she knew sign language. She grew up with a deaf aunt and uncle. She called herself an “in house” interpreter. She grew up interacting with the Deaf community. Lewis learned sign language through interaction.

When Lewis grew up, she and her sister wanted to serve the country so they applied for the military. Lewis served the Navy in the South Carolina base during the WWII. She was part of the intelligence group that was responsible to detect German subs off the coast. She served in the Navy for 3 years before returning back home. After her service, she immediately jumped back in the Deaf community. Eventually, Lewis became a certified interpreter and served the Deaf community for many years.

One of Lewis’ close friends, Kelly Peace, shared a few words about Lewis.

"Norma has been instrumental in mentoring many young interpreters over the years, myself included. She knew my Deaf sister and we began a mentor-mentee relationship over 40 years ago that has turned into a dear friendship. She is so we'll respected and loved, not only by me, but by so many people!"

Thank you, Kelly, for sharing.

We were curious if Lewis did meet any deaf people during her 3 years of service. She said she did not. We also asked if there was anything she would like to share with us. Lewis mentioned that she wants the world to know that Deaf people are just like every else and everyone should value Deaf people equally.

When Honor Flight Bluegrass posted the video of her, many interpreters and deaf people commented on how they valued Lewis’ contribution to our community.

Thank you Lewis for your service in not only the military, but in our Deaf community as well.

Norma Lewis:


Kelly’s last name is Peace, not Pence