[Spencer Daily Reporter nameplate] Fair ~ 32°F  
High: 69°F ~ Low: 40°F
Monday, Apr. 27, 2015

They will not be forgotten

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday morning, spectators gathered and joined together at Riverside cemetery, watched as the parade finished its route, and took their spots, ready for the service to begin.

Phil Hurst, the speaker at this year's Memorial Day ceremony, holds two purple hearts, the bronze star, and the commendation "V", for valor from the Vietnam War.

Hurst also holds a place in his heart for Spencer, Clay County, the United States, and those who serve to protect them.

(Photo)
Vietnam Purple Heart veteran Phil Hurst gave the Memorial Day address at Riverside Cemetery before a large crowd Monday morning. Hurst repeatedly encouraged the audience to remember to thank the veterans for their service.
(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
"Spencer, Iowa, and Clay County have a rich heritage of veterans and of people who have represented our country," Hurst said.

Of the many graves in Clay County, over 200 of them belong to Civil War veterans, who were given land in the area after the war. They and their land, Hurst said, helped to found Spencer.

As other symbols of memorial, the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross was erected at the front of the stage. The rifle stands for firepower, for the voice in battle, and for the burden that the soldier must carry. The bayonet, fixed, represents the soldier's final battle. The boots carry the soldier wherever he or she goes. The dog tags identify him or her to the world. And last, but certainly not least, the helmet protects the soldier's life.

(Photo)
One of the wreath bearers pays respects after hanging her wreath honoring those who served in World War II. She stands in front of the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross.
(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Directly after the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, the names of the flags newly dedicated to the Avenue of Flags were read. They are: Eugene James Manwarren, Army, W.W. II; Daniel James Gibson, Army, Vietnam; Gale D. Johnson, Army, Korea; Robert B. "Slats" Snyder, U.S. Air Corp, Korea, Vietnam; Leonard Leon Bergeson, Army, W.W. II; Julian "Bud" Lovitt, Navy, W.W. II; Ernest "Gus" Freeburg, Army; Daniel H. Maxwell, Army, W.W. II; Harold B. Krile, Navy, W.W. II, Korea; Earl Stanley Norgaard, National Guard; Donald E. Wells, Army, Korea; Robert Wayne Nelson, Navy; Thomas W. Griffin, Army, W.W. II; Norman F. Woelber, Army; Donald D. Storey, Army; Herbert Allen Birchard, Korea; Marlin Keith Foote, Army, W.W. II; Bernard "Bernie" Keninger, Navy, W.W. II; Ronald Joseph Darnell, Navy; Robert H. "Bob" Boyd, U.S. Air Corp, W.W. II; Stanley N. Olson, Army, Korea; James F. Hypse, Army, Korea.

These men, Hurst said, are "more than veterans." They are friends, family, and men that not only served our country but lived among us.

He spoke about life as a veteran, after returning from war. He noticed how things have changed and how veterans and soldiers are now viewed.

"In the last 10 years I've seen a positive change," Hurst said. "We are appreciative as we honor those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan."

But, he said, he still has one fear. He is scared because an era of our veterans are disappearing. A W.W. II veteran who was 18 when the war started is 91. A Korea veteran is 80, and a Vietnam veteran is 75. These are men and women who haven't necessarily heard their country appreciate their service.

(Photo)
Family and loved ones walk the newly dedicated flag of Harold B. Krile, WWII and Korean War Navy veteran. The flag will join Spencer's Avenue of Flags.
(Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
"Let us not let future generations of our veterans and heroes disappear without saying 'thank you,'" Hurst said. "The words of encouragement mean so much."


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on spencerdailyreporter.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

The Memorial Day Program at the cemetary was beautiful.

-- Posted by bgriffin on Tue, May 29, 2012, at 10:59 AM

The Memorial Day Program at the cemetery was beautiful.

-- Posted by bgriffin on Tue, May 29, 2012, at 11:01 AM

I know what Mr. Hurst means when he says he "is scared because an era of our veterans are disappearing. A W.W. II veteran who was 18 when the war started is 91. A Korea veteran is 80, and a Vietnam veteran is 75. These are men and women who haven't necessarily heard their country appreciate their service."

But, I think his fear is misplaced when he worries that these veterans will pass away without knowing their service was appreciated. Our society is overwhelming in its support and gratitude towards vets of all conflicts. It's time to forgive ourselves for the wrongs, real or imagined, committed against veterans after Vietnam.

Also, I hope there comes a day when no there are no veterans left to remember the gratitude the country feels...a world without war is a world without veterans.

-- Posted by Paul.Dalen on Tue, May 29, 2012, at 11:06 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: