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Mason County Memories

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Article 336 Memorial Day 2011 Dave Petersen This week when you are enjoying your grilling outside, and having the family over for a picnic, camping out at the park or wandering around the beaches picking up driftwood. Don't forget to say thanks to the Vets for their services and sacrifices which have made it possible for us to enjoy the life we do. We've had a tough couple years in this Country but it could have been a lot tougher, there is still a lot to be thankful for and our freedom is on the top of my list. I've pulled a few pictures from past years columns that featured are servicemen and women for this weekends article. I would however like to ask if anyone has pictures to share of any servicemen or women from WWII through the first Desert Storm please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, e-mail to davep@blackcreekpress.com, or mail in care of the Ludington Daily News, P.O. Box 340, Ludington, MI, 49431 Pic1 Trench Warfare was the name of the style of fighting during WWI the action could be intense and then there would be breaks in the action as each side dug in. Amos Johnson wrote home to say that when they got to France they were all a bit lonesome. "It is Sunday and there is nothing to do but write letters and play games like football and baseball. All of the boys chipped in and bought some chickens and rabbits. Talk about Dinner! It was fine. We also picked a few blackberries along the road and the cooks made blackberry pie." Pic2 We declared war on Germany April 6th 1917, at the time the Germans did not think that our nation of 100,000,000 people could muster an army, train and transport it in time to make a difference, after all we only had 300,000 or so troops in our armed forces. The draft was swift, close to 4 million men were conscripted, trained and in short order 10,000 men a day were arriving in France to fight the war of wars. Pic3 We celebrated Memorial Day in the past with much more enthusiasm then we do now, I wonder if it might have something to do with how imminent the threat of domination was and how involved the whole nation was in working together for Victory, that it drew us close and bound us to each other in the struggle. These women are all dressed up and ready to head out for a Memorial Day celebration circa 1920. Pic4 Frank "Moose" LaHaye was born and raised on Upper Hamlin Lake north of Ludington, Michigan. He was a decorated WWI hero and wounded several times. He said "the most welcome sight he had seen in a long while was when on arriving in New York harbor he saw the statue of Liberty welcoming him home, and that never again would he face it unless it turned "right about face". The good old U.S.A. seemed the dearest spot on earth." Pic5 Lt. Ruth Chatfield a former Victory Township woman served as an Army nurse in Italy during WWII. Pic6 Don Finholm enjoying Thanksgiving dinner in a muddy foxhole on the Italian front during WWII.

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