Mt. Pleasant News

Mt. Pleasant, IA

09 Jul 1945




Miles Visits Two Cemeteries

By Frank Miles

Paris (IDPA) -- "In sacred Sleep They Rest" is carved over the doorway of the imposing chapel overlooking Meuse-Argonne cemetery at Romagne, France, where I heard national Commander Scheiberling of the American Legion and others speak on Memorial Day.

In perfect lines from any direction viewed are 14,239 stone crosses and stars over the flat, green graves of 14, 239 American soldiers, who made the supreme sacrifice on World War I. On each one was a small American flag, a small French flag, a palm wreath and a poppy. The well trimmed linden trees on each side of the main center walk and around the plot and Old Glory on a high flag pole atop the slope rounded out a beautiful but depressing scene.

Commander Scheiberling and party attended services in the Romagne Catholic church, then marched behind an army drum and bugle corps and a Paris Post and French veterans color guard to the cemetery. Scores of French children with flowers for the bivouacs of the dead joined with the elders in a solemn procession, the first since May, 30, 1939. The Legion leader after the formal exercises placed a wreath at the alter in the cemetery chapel.

Among the uniformed persons in the crowed were Second Lieutenant Betty Taylor, a nurse, Waukon, Iowa, and T/5 George McFarlane, Oelwin, a hospital corpsman. Miss Taylor said Second Lieutenant Katherine Mulder, Reinbeck, was on duty with her at the 120th station hospital.

Cut in the stone panels extending from the chapel hall are names of Americans, who fought in the region but whose earthly resting place was known only to God. Towns are not listed but states are and from Iowa I noted: Pvt. Marshall P. Miller, Pvt. George S. Thomson, Pvt. Will Rozeveld, Pvt. Earl B. Lary and Pvt. Charles G. Garey.

Wayne M. Skelley, son of Mrs. M. Myron Skelley, secretary of the Iowa American Legion Auxiliary, sleeps in Romagne. He was killed in action when he was only 17 years of age. Commander Scheiberling and I were photographed standing at his cross.

Other Iowans resting there are: William Adamski, Angelo Agazzone, Frank Allen, Samuel C. Allliam, Frank Blockinger, Charles L. Charlton, John E. Dillavou, Horace B Emerson, Loren L. Foster, Lloyd W. Gettys, Joe E. Hesser, Leo J. James, Christian F. Karlsen, Roy Long, Lotus W. Mobley, John C. Nissly, James F. Orchard, Harlan F. Parker, John F. Reinig, Jesse C. Tillman, Ole Urness, August Van Oyen, Floyd Wambeam, Andrew Young, and Teddy M. Ziddnos.

After the program the army gave each French child, who had participated, candy and oranges.

Commander Scheiberling and party were guests at a dinner given by Major Jules Domroy, of Romagne. Served in measured courses were hors d'ouevres, stuffed tomatoes, ham with pickles, jumbo sardines, sliced hard boiled eggs, beet salad, salmon with sauce, egg and bacon pie, roast park with sauce, small peas and carrots, roast chicken, green salad, ice cream and chocolate cake, fruits: cherries, oranges, pineapples, plums, peaches, raisins and apricots, and beverages included wine, champagne, cognac and coffee.

Lt. George L. Freeman, of Pressmans Home, Tenn., the cemetery superintendent, lived in Sac City, between the ages of three and 10 years, and an aunt Mrs. Henry Peters and an uncle, Robert Freeman, reside there now.

Except for stealing silverware and bed clothing from the reception hall, the Germans during their occupation of the area did no damage. They did forbid the French from visiting the place. Some of the friendly natives occasionally hid in nearby bushes so as to slip out and put flowers on the American graves.

Commander Scheiberling placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe the evening of Memorial Day.

On May 29, we were at the Henri Chappelle cemetery for World War II veterans in Belgium, where there are 17, 323 American and 191 Allied graves and 10,067 German graves in a field beyond. Army officers and men with the aid of German prisoners of war have done a remarkable beautification job. The wooden crosses and stars are in perfect line on each grave was a small American flag. Brig. Gen. Frederick Castle's cross carried only his
name and serial number. There is no rank in death.

There I met Sgt. Stanley Nelson, an engineer, Spencer, who had been in three battle in 35 months overseas and hopes to go home soon. Cpl. Tony Gargano, Fort Dodge, was in his unit.

Source: Mount Pleasant News, July 9, 1945

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