441 North Park Drive, Morton, MN 56270 info@renvillecountyhistory.com 507.697.6147

He Fought and Bled For America, Bird Island Union, 9-26-1918

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A bright gold star has been added to the 51 blue on the service flag in S. Mary’s Church. About a year ago, one of our dear boys bade adieu to home and country, to all that was dear and near to him in order that he might offer his young life in service for the country which he loved. We bade him God-speed and every blessing as we stood at the lonely door-post and waved him a last farewell. Unflinshing in his endeavors and resolute in his ambitious he hastened forward to make the supreme sacrifice of his mortal life, rallying around the Red, White and Blue. Now he lies buried in sunny France, gone but not forgotten for his spirit lingers in our midst and his memory will live with us as long as the deeds of heroism are dear to our American sympathies.

Thomas Francis Devaney was born in Vail, Iowa, March 14, 1895. He came to Minn. with his parents in 190a and resided at Bird Island where he attended St. Mary’s School. He later on with his brother James, was engaged in the barber trade at Clementsville, N.D. He remained here until July 25, 1917 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marines at Fargo, N.D. The news of his death came as a shock to his relatives and friends in this town; for he was well known to us all by his cheerfulness, his kindly temperament and beautiful disposition of soul.

Thomas F. Devaney died at his post like a brave and valient soldier, he had learned the lesson of self-sacrifice, and steadfast in his convictions he has spelled for us the beauty and nobility of that lesson with his own blood. Long may the example of our hero be an inspiration to us and may his memory not fade from our daily recollection of those who have gone to fight for the country for which he died.

“And we parted – Listen God!
I may not even free,

One little tear to dew the sod,
Where sleeping peacefully

He waits in foreign land, my dear,
But Prophecy and prayer –

The sun that cheers our pathway here,
Shall beam upon us there.