Ceremony honors soldiers' sacrifice.Byline: Jim Feehan The Register-Guard
SPRINGFIELD - Al Dobbins found himself reminiscing about fellow soldiers he knew 60 years ago, the week of Memorial Day in 1943.
He recalled the scrawny young men with nimble legs like his scrambling in the face of fear across the north African North Africa
A region of northern Africa generally considered to include the modern-day countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
North African adj. & n.
Adj. 1. desert "chasing down" German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
Dobbins' legs carried him through searing sear 1
v. seared, sear·ing, sears
1. To char, scorch, or burn the surface of with or as if with a hot instrument. See Synonyms at burn1.
2. heat and blinding sandstorms while he was attached to the Army Signal Corps. When he sees news coverage of Iraq, he said, he thinks of the young soldiers fighting in distant lands. Now they will know the same fears and threats as he did, as well as veterans of the Korean War Korean War, conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea from June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into Soviet (North Korean) and U.S. (South Korean) zones of occupation. , Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf War Persian Gulf War
or Gulf War
(1990–91) International conflict triggered by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Though justified by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on grounds that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq, the invasion was presumed to be .
On Monday, Dobbins joined about 150 veterans, family members and others at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Wall in Willamalane Park in Springfield.
"I'm here for those who couldn't make it back," he said. "Memorial Day is to remind people that their liberty isn't free and that it came at a cost."
The American Legion American Legion, national association of male and female war veterans, founded (1919) in Paris. Membership is open to veterans of World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Springfield Post No. 40 sponsored Monday's event, which featured speakers, a flag salute, a laying of wreaths and the bugle call Noun 1. bugle call - a signal broadcast by the sound of a bugle
signal, signaling, sign - any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message; "signals from the boat suddenly stopped"
recall - a bugle call that signals troops to return of taps in a solemn and powerful ceremony.
Widows and family members of veterans sat stoically sto·ic
1. One who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain.
2. Stoic A member of an originally Greek school of philosophy, founded by Zeno about 308 in folding chairs. Boy Scouts stood at attention during the pledge of allegiance Pledge of Allegiance, in full, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, oath that proclaims loyalty to the United States. and its national symbol. and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Tim Thompson Charles Lemoine Thompson (born March 1, 1924 in Coalport, Pennsylvania) was a catcher in Major League Baseball. He played from 1954-1958 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Kansas City Athletics and Detroit Tigers.
He was a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981. , 52, of Springfield, served with the Marines in Europe from 1975 to 1979. A ceremony such as Monday's brings to mind things people don't think about too much, such as duty, honor and service to one's country, Thompson said.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, it is important for the U.S. to remain ever vigilant, he said.
"More people understand this after 9-11, now that our country has been inflicted by war," Thompson said.
Without soldiers sacrificing their lives in combat, Americans would not have the freedoms they enjoy today, Thompson said.
"A lot of people take their freedoms for granted," he said. "Were it not for the veterans before us, anti-war protesters (in downtown Eugene) would be shot (under a totalitarian regime)."
The women and men who served in the recent Iraq war and in Desert Storm share a kinship with veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, said Robert Lockhart, senior vice commander of the American Legion Springfield Post No. 40.
Despite an resurgence in patriotism after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and during combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, Lockhart said Memorial Day celebrations pale in comparison to war remembrances of the 1950s.
Mike Barker, Lane County Veterans Service officer, said soldiers have had to endure unimaginable hardships - from the frozen feet and hands of Battle of the Bulge Battle of the Bulge, popular name in World War II for the German counterattack in the Ardennes, Dec., 1944–Jan., 1945. It is also known as the Battle of the Ardennes. On Dec. soldiers during World War II to a litany of illnesses suffered by Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
Barker, who served in the Marines for 30 years, added that it is important to remember those veterans who served honorably or retired but did not die in combat.
"For all of those soldiers who fought valiantly before us; they're the reason why have our freedom today," he said.
Zecharia Jacobsen salutes at the Veterans Wall at Willamalane Park on Monday. The 9-year-old belongs to the Emerald Empire Young Marines. Paul Carter / The Register-Guard Participants in the Memorial Day ceremony in Springfield on Monday morning listen to Nicole Lockhart singing "God Bless America." Shane Pratt (right) gives Zecharia Jacobsen some last-minute coaching before Jacobsen places a wreath on Monday. Please turn to MEMORIAL, Page D3 Memorial: Veterans, families recall comrades, today's soldiers Continued from Page D1