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Memorial Day in Fairfax was not only a tribute to the defenders of our country in former days, but, very appropriately, it was an expression of gratitude to those who are now either on the battle front or in the training camps for the greatest cause that has ever confronted the civilized world. It was an exhibition of love and respect for the solders and Red Cross nurses of this locality in particular who have donned the armor to protect and preserve all that has been fought for and won in the wars since the landing of the Mayflower.
These sons and daughters of Liberty, who are represented on Service Flags throughout the country, such as was dedicated here last Thursday, are the wall of protection against the return of tyranny, slavery, and autocracy. Should they fall, which they will not, the war of the Revolution may as well not have been fought; the brave men of 1861 may as well have been spared their lives, and slavery been allowed to exist and expand; it would have been better that the Indians had been left in peaceful domain of the wilderness, which, through the sacrifices offered up by our forefathers, have been transformed into a land of liberty and hope, where all men have equal rights, and which stands out today as the bright light of Democracy, guiding and encouraging the world to establish that democracy and safety for mankind from pole to pole.
Without our “boys” of today all this would be lost to tyrannical autocracy. Freedom, personal possession, free thought and action, the right to progress, and the incentive for ambition would all be surrendered to a one-man monarchial power, the ruler to be succeeded only by hereditary rights. May God deliver us. Better that Columbus had never set sail for the new world.
But we have this thing of a free and prosperous land, and we intend to keep it, and to extend its principles to the sister nations that are now grappling in the death struggle. America and her allies are not yet discouraged, although the tyrant is creeping inch by inch and foot by foot upon Paris today.
And what if Parish should be taken? That would be one big and very important step toward victory for Germany.
What is that to us? The Kaiser told American Ambassador Gerard, “When this war is over I shall stand no-nonsense from America.”
That is why our soldiers are in France today, and it is fitting that we who much remain at home should pay particular tribute to the present-day soldiers, and that is why we should dedicate service flags to them. Here are the names of the honored soldiers and Red Cross nurses represented by the Fairfax Service Flag: William O. Iverson, Louis L. Ness, Neil Mundahl, Alfred Nordby, Victor S. Christenson, Carl L. Dahl, Leonard Koester, Ole Koster, Robert R. Bubholtz, Henry A.H. Kiecker, William H. Kiehn, Walter A. Schultz, Otto Schiffman, Herman H. Hinderman, Otto H.W. Kiecker, Dave Singer, John H. Lembtke, Clifford E. Whimer, Lloyd E. Whitmer, Frank B. Marlow, Edwin B. Marti, Benjamin H. Bauermeister, John S. Merkel, Cyrus E. Clarkson, James G. Blake, Wilbur Q. Blake, George Connell, Henry Bossenecker, Wilbert Lammers, Harry Fullerton, Howard Rieke, Frank Altman, Ferdinand L. Bregel, John E. Butler, William H. Bruggemann, Charles Buehler, Frank Coleman, Benjamin Dickmeyer, Henry Gramel, Peter Liebl, Henry Maxwell, Ralph Ryan, Frank Wagner, John Young, John J. Maxwell, Edward Kienlen, John Ferber, John Lang, Otto Palmer, Thomas F. Russell, John O’Connor, Math. Young, Herbert Palmer, Albert Gerardy, John Reger, Al. Mangen, LeRoy Severecce, Rudolph Baumann, Harold Michaelson, Ray Donnely, John Ploof, Ingvald Hagestead, Geo. B. Zeren, Howard Ruddy, Durwood Smith, Walter Bubholtz, Ewald G. Schmechel, Henry H. Ahle, Henry T. Schewe, Emil W. Julius, Albert Veigel, Joseph Schewe, Guy O.M. Samingson, Alma Kienlen, Palma Nelson and Clara Hinderman.
The afternoon’s program began with the singing of “America” by the audience, accompanied by the Citizens Band, after which came a pretty flag drill by children of the public school. Next was a violin solo by C. Berterlsen, piano accompaniment by Miss Beatrice Rieke.
Then came the unveiling of the huge Service Flag, which had been made by the ladies of the village. The flag measures 14×22 feet, and as it the customary form, consists of a wide red border surrounding the white center piece, upon which are placed the 76 stars, 73 blues ones for the soldiers and three red ones for the Red Cross nurses.
The flag had been placed on a roller and secured to a cross pole over the front of the platform. As the band softly played “America” two children came forward, Leona Fullerton and Horton Kienlen, and by means of ropes and pulleys slowly unfurled the banner of honor, gradually receding to the back of the platform where the lower corners were fastened. There the emblem formed a canopy during the remainder of the program, and Mayor Dickmeyer came forward and read the 76 names of those whom the stars represented.
The flag thus gracefully suspended also formed a visible subject for a most inspiring address by Rev. Deschner. He referred to the flag as an incentive for us to support those who were represented on it. And further that we should devote ourselves to the service to the extent of doing what the boys are doing by eliminating class or race distinction, and regard every citizen of whatever hereditary nationality, as an American citizen.
He further reminded his hearers that the flag stands for 76 person from our homes who have declared themselves willing, if necessary, to give up their lives in the cause of humanity. And as for our pledge, it is to support the Nation to the last dollar as a nation standing for world democracy. A poem, “The Service Flag”, was befittly brought into the program, and was ably delivered by Carrie Fullerton.
After a song by the choir of St. Andrew’s Church, and a selection by the Citizen’s Band the meeting came to a close, all, we believe, feeling deeper admiration for those represented on the Service Flag.
Editor’s Note: The names in red are on the Honor Roll for Renville County. Not listed Clarence Buehler, Calmer Melchar Carlson, Raymond Arthur Mantel and Otto Semerud. The preceding names are also on the Honor Roll for Renville County.