Sgt. Karl Stodden, 1-113th Cav. C-Troop, places a wreath honoring veterans of World War I during the Le Mars Memorial Day service. Veterans from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Post-Vietnam Conflicts and Wars were honored Monday, including First Lieutenant Corbin Clark Tindall, who was killed in Vietnam.
First Lieutenant Corbin Clark Tindall was killed in action on April 12, 1969.
He and other members of the Armed Forces were honored Monday at The Avenue of Flags Memorial Day Program, in Le Mars, at the Plymouth County Courthouse.
Tindall and his unit's service were recognized during the ceremony as this month is the 40th anniversary of their mobilization, May 13, 1968.
Soldier Wilkens of the United States Army salutes the Posting of the colors by the Wasmer Post #241 Color Guard.
A soldier of Company A 2nd Battalion, 133rd Infantry, of the Iowa Army National Guard, Tindall was a graduate of Akron High School and Westmar College. He and his wife, Avis, farmed in rural Akron when he was called to active duty.
Adjutant Tom Baack, of the American Legion Wasmer Post #241 in Le Mars, told the crowd Monday that nine members of Company A had flags dedicated to them flying at the Plymouth County Courthouse.
Tindall, who also had a flag, was the only member of Company A to be killed in Vietnam. He was mortally wounded in combat operations with hostile forces just 49 days after arriving in the country, Baack said.
The rifle volley of the 21 gun salute was carried out by the Wamer Post #241 Firing Squad at the Le Mars Memorial Day service held on the courthouse lawn.
To honor Tindall's memory, Baack shared how a soldier who dies on the battlefield is remembered by his fellow troops.
A nontraditional funeral ceremony includes a rifle with a fixed bayonet, a pair of combat boots, a set of dog tags and a helmet.
"The rifle symbolizes the firepower of the individual troop," Baack said. "It is his voice in battle, his burden, his savior and the ultimate weapon to win, to survive."
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts carried a cross for every new flag posted at the Avenue of Flags on the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn. Each cross was placed in a replica of Flanders Field.
The bayonet is fixed in place on the battlefield where the fallen soldier lies to mark his final resting place. His boots are placed nearby and his dog tags hang from the rifle as they hung from his neck, Baack said.
"Upon the rifle rests the helmet," he said. "As it rests on the rifle, it is transformed into a memorial, not of marble or granite but yet a memorial to a life given in service to his country."
As Baack explained the process, each item was set in its place as it would be on the battlefield in front of a photograph of Tindall allowing the crowd to picture the ceremony.
This memorial was placed on the courthouse steps to honor First Lieutenant Corbin Clark Tindall, of Akron, who was killed in Vietnam in 1969. A soldier who dies on the battlefield is remembered by his fellow troops with a memorial that includes a rifle with a fixed bayonet, a pair of combat boots, a set of dog tags and a helmet.
Monday's Memorial Day program also recognized other veterans like those with continuous 50- and 60-year membership in the American Legion.
Sixty-year members include Rudy Adler, Leo Flaherty, Emil Grosenheider, John Hart, Julian Hart, Ronald V. Kelly, Richard Masuen and Gordon L. Mennen.
Fifty-year members include Ed Bergin Jr., Edward A. Kilker, Roman Langel and Jack McDougall.
Vance Shoemaker plays patriotic songs on his trombone with the Le Mars Municipal Band during the Le Mars Memorial Day service. The band, under the direction of Jerry Bertrand, played several musical selections for the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day Program.
The Avenue of Flags roster containing 1,060 names of soldiers who died serving their country was also read and 28 new flags were added. The names of those 28 soldiers include: Richard Albert, Joe Barger, Robert Bitterly, Leslie Bunt, Ervin C. Criswell, Pierce "Pitts" De Jong, Donald L. De Lair, Robert M. Drennen, Paul Emery Dull, Thomas Jay Dull, Thomas F. Gaul, Kenneth Hathaway, Wesley W. Heidbrink, Jim Jennings, Roger Ladenthin, Richard Francis Langel, Raymond S. Lee, Andrew Dale Lehner, Paul Meylor, Thomas L. Mitchell, Harvey H. Prieksat, Aloysius T. Rolfes, Edward E. Steele, Harold Stream, Mark David Tanner, Mark Treinen, Kenneth M. Vance, George W. Wright.
As Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff welcomed men, women and children, his words reached into the large crowd enveloped by American flags and reminded them the importance of Memorial Day.
"We are here to honor our American soldiers who have served our country," Kirchoff said. "God bless our military and God bless America."
The brass section of the Le Mars Municipal Band adds to the pomp during the Le Mars Memorial Day service, held Monday on the Plymouth County Courthouse Lawn.