Permanent WWII memorial is needed

As I reflect on the past and future I would like to express my appreciation to the Times-Republican for the recognition of my World War II service. The interview reported in the Nov. 17 edition and that of others in the series by the T-R are well appreciated by the veterans and families.

Also, I wish to compliment Marshall County in general for recognition of community veterans in so many various ways. However, I and others are very disappointed in a total commitment being shown toward our dwindling field of living WWII veterans.

During that war, a temporary memorial was erected on the courthouse lawn, listing every known veteran who had entered service from Marshall County.

After the war was over, this wooden roster board labeled “MARSHALL COUNTY HONOR ROLL” was removed with the understanding it would be replaced with a permanent version … that never happened.

More recently  — leading up to Veterans Day 1995 — in cooperation with the Marshall County 50th Anniversary Commemorative Committee observing the end of WW II, the county supervisors allowed the memorial board to again be placed on the grounds north of the courthouse. Later, final whereabouts of this board became unknown.

Tom Brokaw referred to WWII service members as “The Greatest Generation” — how soon they forget! Some local people tried to generate interest, with little avail — to name two, the late Wendell Benson and Barb Scafferi.

Many have passed on, and the younger generation seemingly often has little interest and/or don’t understand how important it is for WWII veterans and their families.

In the South Pacific alone more than 676,000 service members were lost, and more than 10 million were wounded. This doesn’t include the toll of the European war area.

Again I say much appreciation has already been exhibited, but a permanent memorial on the courthouse lawn would be more everlasting and meaningful. Over 14 million men and women service members, 3,873 Marshall Countians among them, took part in World War II.

Now local veterans in a grassroots-type effort are discussing an appeal to current county supervisors and community citizens for cooperation in developing some type of memorial at our courthouse. Aim is to involve as many veterans organizations and individual veterans to join in a drive for this effort, and the 75th anniversary of infamous Pearl Harbor Day seems like an appropriate time.

Our WWII veterans are rapidly dwindling in numbers. Let’s give our own Marshall Countians satisfaction of a permanent memorial.