The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 22, 2012

Remember our heroes

Enid News and Eagle

— President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”

He was referring to what television’s Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation,” the men and women who served and fought during World War II.

An estimated 16 million men and women served in the U.S. military during World War II. Many of them were from northwest Oklahoma.

We didn’t realize just how many there were until last summer, when we set about writing a series of articles we dubbed “Remembering Our Heroes,” chronicling the personal stories of those from our area who served during the biggest conflict the world has ever known.

In all, we have written 33 articles about local WWII veterans, the last of which is appearing in today’s paper.

We are ending our series with the story of Lavoy Sullivan of Nash, a gunner in a bomber during the war.

We felt it was time, after five months, to bring the series to a close, even though there undoubtedly are other stories of other area veterans that remain to be told.

If you, a friend, neighbor, spouse or other relative served and fought during World War II, we would encourage you to continue to pass along their names to us. We will continue to write stories about WWII vets in conjunction with anniversaries of key battles or turning points, like D-Day or the Battle of the Bulge, or commemorations like Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

We also would encourage WWII veterans to talk to friends and family members about their wartime experiences, and to record these recollections. We are losing the shared memories of our World War II veterans at an alarming rate, as an estimated 850 WWII vets pass away every day.

We are honored to have shared the stories of the following area men who served this country so gallantly during World War II:

Rex Campbell, Bill Pospisil, Frank Koehn, Joseph Blanchett, Ted Dilbeck, Curtis Peters, Louis Zamperini, Elmer Young, Paul Tyree, Ed Sutter, Coot Nelson, Arlo Becker, Thomas Lamunyon, Colin Smith, Henry Buller, Ed Schultz, Albert Sims, Hugh Bingham, Squire Utsler, Ivan Keatley, Lewis Reese, Dale Tremain, M.L. Becker, Dale Conaway, Bill Miller, Louis Reinhart, R.D. Lawrence, Gene Slough, Elmer Kroll, Jack Summers, Jack Lenox, Orville Miles and LaVoy Sullivan.

Thank you for your service. We salute you.