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Gladbrook/Lincoln area Memorial Day Services

June 1, 2012
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The Gladbrook/Lincoln area Memorial Day Services were conducted on a warm and windy May 28th. The service was coordinated by the Avenue of Flags Committee of the Gladbrook American Legion & Auxiliary and Lincoln AMVETS and Auxiliary. Pastor Barb Muhs of Salem Church gave the address for our veterans at the 15 Mile Grove Cemetery, Maple Hill Cemetery, Badger Hill Cemetery, Chapel Cemetery, Union Grove Cemetery, Union Grove Beach (for those lost at sea) Crystal Cemetery, and Gethmann Cemetery. At these services there were laying of wreaths, honor guard & firing squad and TAPS. At the All-Veterans Memorial the National Guard flew in a Blackhawk helicopter and had it on display for several hours. The morning concluded with a large service held at the Gladbrook All-Veterans Memorial. A large crowed enjoyed the service of remembrance by sitting on their lawn chairs in front of the two beautiful black marble stones. The Legionnaires raised the flags. The honor of raising the United States Flag was given to Legionnaire Dr. Lawrence Schaeferle, 100. Doc landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 4, 1944, during the second hour of the WW II invasion. Doc served with the 32nd Field Artillery Battalion attached to the 1st Infantry Division, “The Big Red One”. The G-R Band played the “National Anthem”. & “America The Beautiful”. Pastor Muhs stated in her address. “I have often been fortunate to be the judge for 5th grade essay contests on the American Flag and what it means. One essay ranks higher in my memory than some over the years. One particular essay a young man wrote: The blue in the flag reminds me of the night sky, the red is for the blood that was shed so that we might have freedom in the United States and the white reminds me that peace in the world is for all. My parents came to this country from a war torn area of Bosnia. We are lucky we have come to America where we can live free. I also know that our freedom wasn’t free. It was paid for by the lives of many who lost their lives for us. Wow! What an insight for a young boy to write and yet today we gather here to remember what this young man was able to experience and through his writing I am reminded of the letters that many of you wrote during your time in the service and the relief that your letters brought to your families when they were received. In many situations you wrote of only the good and not of the tragedy that you saw firsthand. You were proud of the job you were called to do and you didn’t want family or friends to worry or know how scared that you were. So I share the first” letter story “I remember reading. A young man wrote to his parents, “Sure rains here a lot” to which his mother responded, “Now son, tell me how it really is over there, there is more than just rain.” The son sent another note to his parents. “We sure have a lot of monkeys over here.” Once again his mother responded with, “Son, rain and monkeys? “ I know that you were not sent there to experience rain and monkeys. Tell me how it really is.” The third letter received read, “Today we blew up a village. Men, women and children lost their lives as well as half of our platoon. The smell and the sight…” To which his father responded, “Son you shouldn’t write such horrifying letters to your mother.” So the next letter received read, “It sure rains here a lot.” You remember the mail calls from military days, the extra push ups you did when someone received a package, the extra miles ran if there was perhaps too much mail on one day. You were perhaps too embarrassed to show just how many letters you received and yet those same letters kept you connected to your family and friends who prayed for you who worried for you. And if you are standing here today, you were fortunate. Your letters got home before you did. There were times I’m sure that an officer got after you to write your mother or your grandmother, because they knew the importance of those at home hearing from you. To reassure your family that you were alright. And then there were those who came home before their letters did. Those are the ones we remember today. The fallen, the ones who were willing to answer to their countries call and pay the ultimate price. Those whose handwriting one will never see again and those whose faces live on through memories. We remember them and pray for their families that peace will grow and love in their hearts as time moves forward. Ah! Letters, a load master who in her first year of military action wrote home and shared these words. “It is Christmas Day and for the very first time I am transporting a flag draped casket between two locations. The questions fill my mind. Is this male, female? It this someone’s child? Father? Mother? son or daughter? I know not who only that whoever this person is paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and for that I am proud. “ So today we give thanks for those who have been returned to American soil knowing that they too, have paid a price. For OUR freedom and that has come with a cost. A cost we can never repay. For those who serve, those who have served and those yet to serve we pray that we are mindful enough to know that God looks down upon us and gives us His peace. A peace that knows no boundary or limits. Thanks be to God. Amen” Two poppy and clover wreaths were laid in front of the two veterans stones by Gladbrook Auxiliary President Jeanne Paustian and AMVET Auxiliary President Karen Lage. The service concluded with the benediction, the salute by the firing squad, and TAPS. G-R musician Claire Reinhard played the TAPS. Members of the Honor Guard & Firing Squad included from the Lincoln AMVETS Larry Herink and Doug Sienknecht and from the Gladbrook American Legion Carroll Wegner, Loren Frericks, Leo Lohse, Ron Busch, Roger Sievers, Bob Knaack, Don Hein, Jim Gethmann, Terry Schmitz, Craig Russell, Dick Denbow, Richard Klinefelter, Russ Rosenberger, and Dennis Haack. Poppies and program books, with all the veterans listed from all the cemeteries, were distributed by Gladbrook Jr. members Danyelle Foos, Tylinn Terven, and Jasmin Terven and by Chris Hickman. Many enjoyed the Memorial Day dinner hosted by the Gladbrook Legion & Auxiliary at the Memorial Building.

Article Photos

Jeanne Paustian, left, Gladbrook Auxiliary President, and Karen Lage, right, AMVET Auxiliary President, laid two poppy and clover wreaths at the veterans stones at the All Veteran’s Memorial. Photo by Betty Dahms



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