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Letters to the Editor

War dead shouldn’t be just a list of names

• Lieutenant Colonel John W. Swanson of Arlington.

• Hospital Corpsman John M. Kares of Neponset.

• Airman Second Class Virgil Lindquist of Neponset.

• Specialist 4th Class Dale W. Moore of Princeton.

• Private First Class John E. Shertz of Princeton.

• Sergeant Michael A. Wainwright of Princeton.

• Corporal John L. Fordham of Sheffield.

• First Lieutenant Larry R. Maddy of Sheffield.

• Private First Class Harry Lewis Jr. of Spring Valley.

• Sergeant William N. Bulthius of Wyanet.

Just a list of names, to most Bureau County residents today. Only family and a few surviving friends know who they were now.

A long time ago, we were soldiers, called by our country to do our duty in Vietnam, willingly or not.

Today, those of us who survived are called grandparents. How heartwarming it is to hear a little one call you “Grandma” or “Grandpa.”

These men noted above did not get that experience.

Our war had little to do with preserving the rights and privileges of our American people. America could not quite comprehend what it was all about. Our right to remain a free people comes from the sacrifice of someone you never met, whether it was in a “popular” war or not.

Pause a moment while you raise your flag Memorial Day and whisper a “thank you” for the free life you are living, and say a prayer for those who paid for it.

“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air” — a reminder of the price to be paid for those of us who inherit the United States of America for many generations to come.

Rest in peace, comrades.

Mike Johnson


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