Happy Memorial Day!
How are you celebrating Memorial Day? Today is a holiday often spent relaxing with friends and family – grilling, visiting and enjoying a three day weekend. However Memorial Day was created to remember everyone who has died serving in the American Armed Forces. The holiday started after the Civil War to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in battle. It became an official holiday in 1967.
My Dad served in the Army from 1959-1962.
My Great Grandpa Guy was also in the service. He served in the Army during World War I. Private Guy Marker was 22 years old when he served with the 30th Infantry Division, Regiment 119th Company M.
This Division was one of two U.S. Army Divisions assigned to the Hindenburg Line in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal. Total casualties were 8,415 – Killed in Action were 1,237.
This is a copy of the telegraph his parents received on November 9th, 1918. It reads;
“Joseph (Guy) E. Marker, R7D1 Marietta Minnesota. Deeply regret to inform you the Private Guy E. Marker Infantry is officially reported as Killed in Action October tenth, 1918.”
The family was devastated, but imagine how elated they were just days later when they received a letter from their son. He wrote them from the hospital in England where he was recuperating and explains he was shot, but after he recovered, he’d be returning home. The telegraph was sent in error! After being discharged from the Army, he went on to marry, had four children, grandchildren and great grandchildren before passing away at the age of 73.
This is a picture of Grandpa Guy & Grandma Ester at his retirement party. After serving in the Army he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years before retiring and below is a great picture of my brother & I with Great Grandpa Guy & Grandma Ester in 1963.
Quite the story huh? I try to put myself in his parents position way back when they received that telegram. It’s really quite the story and I’m happy to be sharing it with you.
So with that, I wish you Happy Memorial Day! I always enjoy time with family & friends on these long three day weekends, but also remember why we celebrate the day.
“All gave some; some gave all.” Howard William Osterkamp, Korean War Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient.