For hundreds of years ships have been sailing across the seas bound for the shores of America. Their passengers were people of many different races, religious beliefs, and cultural backgrounds. They came from exalted stations and the lowest forms of serfdom. They spoke different languages and had customs that were alien to each other. Yet, many and varied as were their differences, they all had one thing in common --- a dream in their hearts. To them the arrival in America did not mean the end of life, but rather the beginning. They had seen and experienced strange and terrible things in their homelands, and now at the end of their journey they looked for peace and happiness and freedom.
These voyagers to the shores of America brought with them the qualities that were to build the greatest nation on earth. They spread all over the young country. They went into the cities and built up the great industries. They manned the factories and started the great system of free enterprise. They hacked homes and villages out of the wilderness. They farmed the virgin earth and built up an agricultural economy that one day was to meet the challenge of feeding the old world from which they had come. They burrowed into the earth and brought forth the raw materials that were to make their new country the richest in the world. Yet, no matter where they lived or what they were doing, they all worked to make their original dream a reality --- a land of freedom and a decent place for men to live.
Today we know that they succeeded. Factory worker and farmer; city man and country man; Catholic, Jew, Protestant, and those of no religion; White, Negro, Brown, or Yellow, no matter what the color of their skin; these --- all these built the United States of America! At the end of their journey they accomplished that which they had set out to do, and to all of these we who now enjoy the fruits of their toil and sufferings say "Well done!"
Just two short years ago a new kind of ship began arriving at the shores of America. It was in the fall of the year 1947 when the first of these ships steamed through the Golden Gate of San Francisco and began to unload its passengers. Since then these ships have been flocking to America from all parts of the world, and landing their passengers on both the east and the west coasts. Like the earlier pioneers who built the country these new passengers are being scattered to all parts of our country. They are going to the cities and to the rural villages. Some are going to the mountains while others are voyaging to the prairies. They are going to rich homes and poor homes. They are stopping at Catholic Churches, Protestant Churches, and Jewish Synagogues. They are being met by their relatives of every race and color. Yet, many and varied as were the different backgrounds from which they came, now they all have one thing in common --- the American Flag --- that Flag that proudly enwraps their honored coffins, for these new kind of passenger ships are the ships that are bringing home our War Dead.
They left these shores with the same dream in their hearts that their ancestors had in theirs when they arrived --- the dream of a free and decent world. They carried this dream and ideal into many and far places. They saw strange and terrible things, but the dream never changed nor did the ideal seem impossible. Like their pioneer ancestors, they were willing to fight and suffer and die so that our Country might continue to be a land of freedom, a land of decency, a good place in which to live and raise our children, a nation free from religious and racial hatreds.
And now they have come to the end of their journey. They are back home, and a grateful nation salutes them, while we who enjoy the fruits of their toil and sufferings say "Well done!" Yet, we cannot let it stop with a mere salute. It is the responsibility of every one of us to keep alive the great ideal for which they died. We must keep faith with these Honored Dead. It is to us, the living, that the torch of liberty and freedom and brotherly love has been passed on. It burned brightly in the hands of our pioneer ancestors; it reached a sacrificial blaze in the hands of our Honored Dead; may it never grow dimmer or weaker in our hands, but may it ever grow brighter and stronger until it becomes a torch to light the entire world and to burn out all intolerance of race, color or creed. May we the living stand shoulder to shoulder with the Pioneer and with our Honored War Dead so that we can continue to build the greatest nation on the face of the earth --- Their Country and Ours --- the United States of America!
|Private George D. Applegate||Private First Class Arthur Melvin Loseke|
|First Lieutenant Tony O. Bamberg||Staff Sergeant Carroll Lusche|
|Sergeant Carl Behle||Corporal Dwight Marquiss|
|Private First Class Robert C. Bender||Staff Sergeant Eugene E. Messersmith|
|Fireman Second Class Norman West Blevins||Private First Class Cyril A. Micek|
|Sergeant Ervin P. Bodewig||Master Sergeant Robert V. Moseley|
|Private First Class Erhardt Boettcher||Private Dominic J. Niedbalski|
|Staff Sergeant Herbert S. Brinell||Private Norman Ralph Olson|
|Chief Torpedoman's Mate Robert John Brockman||Radioman's Mate Second Class Julius H. O. Pieper|
|Aviation Metalsmith Third Class||Radioman's Mate Second Class Ludwig J. W. Pieper|
|Leland T. Christensen||Private First Class Vernon W. Pillen|
|Second Lieutenant Martin E. Crantz||Staff Sergeant Walter F. Placek|
|Second Lieutenant Anthony Francis Diederich||Private First Class Clinton Edward Polark|
|Private Clinton Robert Farrar||Private Ralph M. Polzin|
|Technical Sergeant Barnard B. Fletcher||Private Leonard Preister|
|Lieutenant Clifford R. Galley, Jr.||Sergeant Allan J. Rice|
|Private Harold Galley||Private Conrad W. Robak|
|Staff Sergeant William H. Gaspers||Seaman First Class Steve J. Ryba|
|Corporal Gerald Gehr||Sergeant Harold Saalfeld|
|Colonel Irving H. Schimelpfennig|
|First Lieutenant William Bucher Gray||Second Lieutenant Mark L. Shorts, Jr.|
|Corporal Robert H. Greisen||Private First Class Edward A. Siebler|
|Staff Sergeant Melvin Hamner||Private Arnold W. Sivers|
|First Lieutenant Charles Middleton Harrison||Private First Class Leonard J. Sliva|
|Private First Class Cecil Hickey||Second Lieutenant Edwin J. Smolen|
|Private Lyle D. Hollenbeck||Private First Class Lambert T. Smolen|
|Corporal William D. Howell||Technical Sergeant Jerome G. Sokol|
|Private First Class Edward Jaspers||Apprentice Seaman David M. Speicher|
|Private First Class John J. Jasper||Second Lieutenant John M. Speicher, Jr.|
|Master Sergeant Arthur B. Jenny||Private First Class Gerald Steuzel|
|Second Lieutenant George A. Justesen, Jr.||Corporal Jerry K. Stillinger|
|First Lieutenant Emmett J. Kelly||Private First Class Sylvester H. Sueper|
|Staff Sergeant Allen H. Kluck||Private Robert Taylor|
|Staff Sergeant Richard F. KoIm||Baker Second Class Henry T. Tworek|
|Corporal Frank J. Kopecky||Private Raymond W. Vanderheiden|
|Private First Class Allen E. Korte||Technician Fifth Grade Emil Veik|
|Staff Sergeant Emil F. Koziol||Private First Class William F. Wahrer|
|Corporal Philip Kudron||Private First Class Melden V. Werner|
|Private Michael F. Kula||Staff Sergeant John J. Wielgus|
|Private First Class John P. Langan||Private First Class Leo J. Wielgus|
|Private Kenneth K. Laudenklos||Second Lieutenant Lambert V. Wieser|
|Private First Class Eugene H. Letterman||Technical Sergeant Richard H. Wieser|
© 2005 for the NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller