Marietta Legion Post #156 in Marietta, Minnesota has chosen to honor these fallen soldiers with commemorative metal displays. While working on the images and designs I couldn’t help but wonder about the anecdotes and stories behind these young farm boys called to duty during WW II.
Did soldiers from the farm really make better soldiers? I’d like to think so. Farming in our agricultural region along the Minnesota-South Dakota border couldn’t have been easy during the Great Depression that preceded the war. They would become competent carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engine mechanics and general tinkerers. If they didn’t have a part they made their own and jury-rigged items together just to get by. Transfer these skills to military life and the powers that be would have considered them invaluable assets.
These were not the only soldiers from our area to die as a result war. The list above includes all Lac Qui Parle County casualties during WW II. I recognize familiar surnames from the area and wonder about their stories, as well.
The class of 2018 is cruising down the home stretch and ready to complete their final lap. Be proud of your glory days as they represent a time in your life that can never be repeated. You are probably in peak physical condition due to the rigors of training along with youthful resilience, and have shared bonding experiences with teammates you have probably known and played alongside since elementary school. When this time comes to an end you may feel an unusual combination of accomplishment and sadness.
Are we really saying farewell to the glory days? You couldn’t forget these experiences and memories if you tried. Rather, it’s a time to say to yourself, Wow, wasn’t that incredible?
To quote football coach, Lou Holtz: The answer to three questions will determine your success or failure: 1 – Can people trust me to do my best? 2 – Am I committed to the task in hand? 3 – Do I care about other people and show it? If the answers to all three questions are yes, there is no way you can fail.
So, be thankful for the experiences, apply the lessons learned and make sure to find a way to make the future even better than the past.
May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right ~Peter Marshall Gary, South Dakota is the kind of community Norman Rockwell may have used as inspiration for a painting with picturesque surroundings, historic buildings and friendly people. The small town swells with pride and people during its annual flag waving July 3rd and 4th Celebration.
Our local American Legion and Legion Auxiliary organizations are made up of proud, selfless individuals who support our community, especially the youth, through summer baseball/softball programs as well as a Junior Legion Auxiliary organization. You will find these people volunteering their time at community events, parades, Veteran funerals, playing taps, etc. Click on the link for a history of the Peden-Cole American Legion web page thanks to the American Legion Centennial Project.
Much controversy has revolved around a professional football player kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against people of color. This is his right… Maybe it was an efficient way to bring attention to his cause and he’ll go down in history books as some sort of hero. Or, maybe it backfired and came across as being selfish, bringing negative attention to his team. So much publicity involved not respecting the flag and the United States that it may have taken away from the actual purpose of his protest. Our country is all about standing up for what you believe in, but needs to be done in a way that conveys the actual point you wish to make. And above all, be kind.