2012-05-24 / Views

our opinion

Of letters and clippings

Delbert Russell and Matthias Nemeskal.

Dale and John Fisher, who died in France during World War II. Their half-brother, Frank Fisher, fell before them in World War 1.

Charles Beurhrer and Thomas McCreary.

Bernard Couturier, who died in the trenches of World War 1 just five weeks before the last shot was fired in a “war to end all wars.”

Mortimer Boyes and Mike Rosinski.

William Bader, the last boy from Leelanau County to lose his life fighting for his country. The Suttons Bay grad died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. The date was June 24, 1968.

We know the stories behind some of the men listed above who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending their country. But many of their deaths occurred so long ago that lines leading to their life paths are lost. As journalists from another era, we’ve found it difficult or even impossible to recreate their lives, although we wish we could. Their stories have meaning. They should be remembered.

That’s the most important reason to pause on Monday, Memorial Day, to offer a prayer and personal thanks for their gifts of freedom. Some 137 names of fallen soldiers from Leelanau County are listed in our Memorial Day section. We’ve done our best to list them accurately.

While books and even whole libraries are charged with maintaining the stories of generals, letters and faded newspaper clippings stored in shoe boxes are the biographies of foot soldiers.

Let’s take time to ensure all of our Leelanau County casualties — and those of the nation as a whole — are not forgotten.

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