This past Monday our nation celebrated Memorial Day. A time to remember the great sacrifices that millions of American service men and women have done for all of us. In turn their efforts have kept our nation united and free. Not since the American Revolution and Civil War have we seen invasion or war fought on our own soil.
One of the main reasons for this is our military and the young men and women who give their service to our country. If we did not maintain a strong army we would all probably be speaking German or Russian today. As an example of the sacrifices just look at a few numbers from World War II: - 407,000 American soldiers died, nearly 1 million were injured & 12,000 civilians died. -383,800 British soldiers died, nearly 1 million were injured & 75,000 civilians died. -301,000 Italian soldiers died, over 600,000 were injured & 153,000 civilians died. -2,120,000 Japanese soldiers died, nearly 4 million were injured and 500,000 civilians died. -13 million Russian soldiers died, over 20 million were injured & 25 million civilians died. *note that the Russians were our allies in the later part of the war Over 60 million people died as a result of the war. That is right, over 60 million!
For those who died or were injured there was family who all suffered as well. My father left for war a young 24 year old scout/ranger for the army. He was injured many times and each time returned to war. He received more than 30 gunshot wounds, hand grenade injuries and major injuries to his head, chest, arm, hands and legs. He lived the rest of his 57 years with a steel plate in his head, his mouth wired so he could speak, multiple gunshot wounds to his left arm and chest, partially paralyzed left and right hands, knees and legs that had been injured by hand grenades and most of all the mental and emotional anguish he felt.
Fellow soldiers reported that dad carry numerous wounded off the battlefield and while under heavy fire. He was in the allied invasion of Normandy at St. Lo, France. Two veterans told my family how dad saved their lives directly. Dad did not talk much about the fighting. I was a teenager when I first heard two veterans tell about dad saving their lives by dragging and carrying them out of the line of fire. I felt very proud of him.
Dad could no long play baseball and the sports he loved but he became a coach and a manager. He also became a long time scout for the Boston Red Socks Baseball Team. He was a natural salesman and became a wholesale food broker as well. He also loved the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as commander several times and helped lead the American Legion Post 88, in Donelson, Tennessee into becoming one of the two largest posts in that state.
When I think of Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other times of remembrance I know personally what veterans and their families have given to this country. We all should say thank you to every young person serving and to the veterans who have served. Thank you my friends!
OTHER NEWS – This week in 1945 the last great battle in the Pacific was underway. The 81 day allied effort to take Okinawa in the Solomon Islands was well underway. On this day the battle turned and the allies finally took Sugar Loaf Hill. Adolph Hitler was dead and his deputy Reichsfuhrer Himler committed suicide. General Eisenhower orders the arrest of the new German leaders. William Joyce, British traitor and radio announcer for the Germans, is arrested. Joyce was the infamous Lord Haw Haw who taunted the English speaking soldiers, by radio, during the war. The U.S. Military sets target date for the invasion of Japan.
OTHER NEWS – The Logan County Fair is coming together. Admission to the grounds will be free. Things are tentative but it looks like there will be a large horse show for the public, a tractor pull, free entertainment on several days, various animal competitions, largest carnival rides to ever come to the county (arm band information will be announced soon), food booths, beauty contest, BBQ Contest, two big name entertainment acts on the same night for a nominal fee, Scottish Dancers and much more. Remember July 27 – August 2. For more information and entry forms contact Lonnie Epley, chairman of the fair board, or the county agriculture extension center on the by-pass in Russellville. (Across from the Marathon Service Center.)
The 24 Annual Logan County Antique Gas Engine & Tractor Association Show is set for June 6 & 7. The event will be at McCutchen Coke Park in Auburn. Tractor Pull Friday at 6 p.m. & Saturday at 12 Noon. There is space for Primitve Camping and RV Camping and hookups.
Actress Carol Channing, Hello Dolly; is 93, Barbara Hale, Perry Mason Show, is 93; Nancy Regan, actress and first lady, will be 93 on July 21; Doris Day, actress & singer, is 92 and Betty White, actress & comedian is 92; Kirk Douglas, is 97; Joseph Wapner , Judge & TV Judge, is 95 and Olivia de Havilland is 98.
Time to go. Good night sweet people, Judge Chick, Danny Finch, Mrs. Wallace Whitaker, the Mayors of Auburn and Lewisburg and Mrs. Calabash where ever you are.