Veterans of the Great War should not be forgotten

It’s easy to forget an event or a person, even one we very much want to remember. Remembering well does not come naturally for most people, it takes practice.

We recall our high school friends by thumbing through year books, and telling all the old stories at reunions, funeral receptions and other social events. Our memories are honed by the recollections of others we converse with there.

Over the past week we’ve seen a lot of stories in print and on television about the Great War – World War I, which was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

One-hundred years removed it is incumbent upon us to remember our own men and women who served back then – their sacrifices were as selfless and brave as those who fought in the many wars that followed.

What people don’t remember, what maybe people today never learned and therefore could not remember, is that the methods of warfare a century ago were especially brutal.

New weapons were introduced, others vastly improved; poisonous gases, tanks, automatic weapons, artillery to name just a few. And because they were new they were widely used and with little question or moral judgment at the time.

One of the stories reminding us of World War I was written by Allan Blanks of the Minot Daily News. It told of the days when the 164th Infantry Regiment, Company D marched down Main Street Minot in a parade, as thousands of people turned out to wish them well on their way to war. A photograph of the event can be found at the Ward County Historical Society Pioneer Village Museum in Minot, along with other photos from the same era.

A stop there would be a good exercise in remembering our local veterans of the Great War who are now gone from us.

A side trip to visit the WWI Memorial located in Rosehill Memorial Park also seems appropriate this spring.

The inscription on the memorial might answer for some the question of why President Trump hit Syria with a barrage of 60 cruise missiles Thursday night. That would be to champion the oppressed, protect human rights and advance democracy.

The inscription reads, in part:

“In memory of Minot’s heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the world’s great struggle for democracy.”

And so we fight on.