Memorial Day in Rugby
The dead and the living were honored Monday at a Memorial Day program at the Memorial Hall in Rugby.
Three new names were added to the War Memorial Wall on the hall’s south lawn, and Vietnam veterans in attendance received lapel pins as part of a national effort to thank and honor veterans and their families.
On the memorial wall Radarman 2nd Class Terry A. Estes was added under Vietnam; and Pvt. Stephen Bogus and Pvt. Ingvald B. Gjertsen were added under World War I.
A wreath was placed and “Taps” was played to honor the deceased, and the American Legion Honor Guard fired a gun salute after the names were unveiled.
Terry Estes, son of Avery and Marjorie Estes, joined the Navy on Sept. 12, 1963, and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. On April 10, 1967, he died in an automobile accident while on leave in California. He is buried in Persilla Watts Cemetery in Rugby with his parents. The Estes family were honored guests during the program in Rugby.
Bogus was born in Luben, Poland, and, in Rugby, was inducted into the 58th Infantry Regiment on March 17, 1918. He died in France in July 1918 and is buried in Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, France.
Gjertsen was born in Askoen, Norway, and, in Rugby, was inducted into the 137th Infantry on March 29, 1918. He died Oct. 13, 1918, and was buried in France but later moved to Norway.
Dale Niewoehner, who coordinated the name addition project, gave the address at the program held prior to the unveiling.
In his address, Niewoehner said WWI was a “savage” war, with over 116,000 Americans losing their lives. Of the over 116,000, over 53,000 died in combat and over 63,000 died due to the 1918 influenza epidemic.
Niewoehner spoke of the Pierce County dead in WWI. Most soldiers sent from Pierce County who died had died later in the war. Clarence A. Larson was killed in action on March 9. 1918. On July 18 Howard McLean was killed in action and Clarence E. Annis died the same day. On Sept. 26 George Abdalla died, and two days later Valentine Schneider was killed in action. (Schneider’s remains were brought back to Rugby on Sept. 12, 1921, and were buried in Little Flower Cemetery).
On Oct. 4, 1918, Carl Nygaard was the first Pierce County soldier who died due to the influenza outbreak. Two days later Frithjof Hagboe died, and Walter Severson died the next day. The flu outbreak would also claimed the lives of Hettrick Lowe, Olaf Haiberg and Elias Skjerve.
John Gustafson presented Vietnam War-era lapel pins to area veterans.
The lapel pins were part of a national commemoration that was authorized by Congress, established under the secretary of defense and launched during the Obama administration. Veterans who served during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 were eligible to receive the lapel pins.
Objectives of the commemoration were to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families; highlight the service of Armed Forces and the wartime contributions of federal agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations; pay tribute to American citizens’ wartime contributions; highlight technological, scientific and medical advances; and recognize allies’ contributions (Australia, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines).
– Legion post chaplain Josh Siegler gave the invocation and benediction.
– Rugby High School music instructor Kari Hill conducted RHS band members in the playing of the National Anthem and other musical selections.
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