Off The Press

April 9, 2013

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Help honor veterans with photos, donations

It’s that time of year again, when The Press begins work on Lest We Forget, our annual Memorial Day tribute to veterans.

This year’s section, our fourth annual tribute, will be published in the May 22 paper, the weekend before Memorial Day.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

If you didn’t see last year’s section (which you can view at, you missed the nearly 170 photos of this city’s veterans, those living and those no longer with us. We also wrote a handful of stories about local World War II veterans, whose numbers are (sadly) quickly dwindling.

We also remember, as we do every year, the 19 veterans from this community who gave the ultimate sacrifice during wartime.

We are pleased to honor your fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, brothers and sons, sisters and daughters, neighbors and friends.

Why is this project so important?

Well, if you get to choose your church, your school, your home, your car, your career, your meal — your anything at all that isn’t pushed upon you or demanded by your government — you should thank a veteran. Those are the people who made your choices possible.

If that isn’t enough, think about this. Last year, we ran a story about 92-year-old William Bentz and his World War II service, and about how he and his wife communicated through Victory Mail, which was created so military personnel could correspond with those back home waiting for them.

William’s family was thrilled about the story. They had never heard about his war travels, never knew the details of his service.

William died not long after that story ran. We were deeply saddened to learn about his passing. However, we felt gratified that we had been able to get his story before it was lost.

This is the kind of important work Lest We Forget does. It honors those who deeply deserve it. It praises people for jobs well done. It records history, before it slips through our hands.

If you know someone who has a great story to tell us about his or her military service, please let us know as soon as possible. Email your idea and contact information to We would love to tell these important stories.

Starting April 10, we will have a form on our website for you to fill out if you or a loved one would like to be included in our section. You don’t have to have served during wartime. You don’t have to have traveled overseas.

Fill out the form and send it to us, along with a photo from your military service days if possible. There is no cost to put our local veterans in the paper.

However, there is a cost to print this section, and I couldn’t have done this project every year without the unflagging help and tireless energy of Vietnam veteran Dave Waggoner and the businesses and individuals who have donated generously to make sure this section continues.

We give credit to those businesses in the section. If you would like to contribute this year, please email me at

To all veterans, we salute you. Thank you for your service.


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