Letter to the editor: Memorial Day specially honors war dead

Leora Wilson arranges flowers at the Wilson family burial plot in Violet Hill Cemetery in 1969. She died in 1987. Photo courtesy Joy Neal Kidney

To the editor:

Memorial Day is set aside for Americans to remember our war casualties — not our veterans, not our ancestors, but our war casualties.

That means more to families directly affected, but each Memorial Day there are ceremonies to remember in cemeteries across the county. In fact, people in Europe and in the Philippines and around the world remember our war dead with solemn observances in our overseas American cemeteries.

They still revere those Americans who lost their lives to help free their nations from tyranny.

Our family always took homegrown flowers to Perry’s Violet Hill Cemetery in order to honor the three Wilson brothers who lost their lives during World War II.

Only Junior, the youngest son of Clabe and Leora Wilson, is buried there. A cenotaph commemorates Daniel Wilson, who is buried in the Lorraine American cemetery in France, and Dale Wilson. Only God knows where his remains lie today.

The family had moved to a Perry acreage in late 1944, after their father Clabe could no longer handle the tenant farm at Minburn with all five sons gone. Clabe Wilson was buried not long after the war, having died of a stroke and a broken heart.

And since 1987, the boys’ mother, Leora Wilson, has been buried there.

Be sure to take time to remember those who gave their lives for our nation, even for our world.

Or you could take your family to visit one or several Freedom Rocks around the state. All five Wilson brothers are pictured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock in Minburn. Only two of them came home.

Remember that Memorial Day is reserved for those who lost their lives in service to our nation.

Joy Neal Kidney
West Des Moines



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