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Honoring those lost in effort to keep all free

 

Last updated 5/27/2021 at 12:24am | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

Each year as a member of Hinsdale's American Legion Post 250 read off the names of Hinsdaleans who paid the ultimate sacrifice, a memorial wreath is placed at the base of the "Winged Victory" statue. The statue and the bronze plaques, listing service members who were killed, are in the foyer of the Memorial Building. The Memorial Day procession and ceremony has been canceled for the second year in a row because of COVID-19. (file photo)

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky,

The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Canadian John McCrae was a military doctor serving in World War II when he found himself positioned on the west bank of the Ypres-Yser canal in France in April 1915.

On May 2, 1915, his friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed by a direct hit from an 8-inch German shell when he left his dugout. He was 22 years old.

Historians offer differing accounts of when McCrae penned the first draft of what would become "In Flanders Fields." Whether he wrote the now-famous poem right after Helmer was buried or the next day, it has become a poignant part of Memorial Day remembrances in Hinsdale and across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the ceremonies on which we rely to mark observances like this, and the procession that typically travels from Third and Washington streets to the lawn of the Memorial Building will not take place. "In Flanders Fields" will not be read (rest in peace, George Hogrewe, who held that honor for three decades before passing in September 2019) and the Names of the Honored Dead will not be read.

Fortunately nothing prevents us from continuing our tradition of listing those names here.

World War I

Dietrich Andorf, Malcolm Brown, Leslie Chandler, Henry Colton, Fritz Engel, Charles Galavan, William Geffert Jr., Edwin Henderson, Harry McAllister, Linus Ruth and Thomas Weddel

World War II

Alvin Berg, George Brcik, Robert Cassels, William Cassels, Kenton Clarke III, Densmore Collins, William Cook, John Crossan, James Dicken, Frederick Dyas Jr., Samuel Elia, Paul Goveia, James Gordon Jr., Oakave Griffin, Harmen de Haan, Martin Harnisch, James Hastings, John Hench, William Holch, John Lamson, John Loehman, James Mehaffey, Elmer Maves, John Minard, Ernst Moeller, Arthur Paulsen Jr., John Phelps, Charles Raymond, Martin Roth, Albert Ruzicka, Louis Seidcheck, Clayton Talfen, Gilbert Vetter, Kenneth Vix, Thomas Weber, Eugene Whitlow, Mark Whitman, Philip Williams Jr., Kenneth Williams, Laddie Zeman and Carl Zitzka

Korean War

Robert Archibald, Allen Drallmeier, Irwin Eggert and Jack Welle

Vietnam War

Harvey Lofgren, John O'Connor, Thomas Peterson, Michael Spotswood, Thomas Utter and Lester Weber

Afghan War

Gunnar Hotchkin

 
 

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