Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post 

A day for remembrance


Penny Merryfield/Pine Bluffs Post

A lone battle cross is displayed in the Pine Bluffs Cemetery in honor of fallen soldiers during a Memorial Day service last Monday.

A gentle breeze and a warming sun graced those who stood before the American flag, lowered to half staff in honor of those who had died in service to their country.

The Memorial Day service, Monday, May 29 at the Pine Bluffs Cemetery, was conducted by the Pine Bluffs American Legion Post 60. Post Commander, John Wise, after the presentation of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, brought the attention of those present to those who we honor on this day.

"Again our nation gathers to honor its heroic dead. A thousand battles of land, sea and air echo the glory of their valiant deeds. Under the quiet sod, or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies sleep in peace. But in the destinies of veterans, their souls go marching on. Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them our nation lives."

Dan DeBruyn, pastor of the Crossroads Community Church in Pine Bluffs served as chaplain for the service and led the invocation.

Melinda Gibson led the singing of "America the Beautiful," and was followed by Air Force Major, (Ret) Nola Cary who laid flowers before the memorial tablet, the symbol of the Fallen Soldier, under the flag pole, and dedicated to those who gave their lives for their country.

Again, Melinda Gibson led the singing, this time of the National Anthem and Commander Wise read from the poem, "Just a Common Soldier," by A. Lawrence Vaincourt which read in part:

"If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,

Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days,

Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that would say,

'Our country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.'"

For the benediction Pastor DeBruyn read from the book of Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 4:

"He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."

The commander then ordered the Post's Honor Guard to Salute the Dead. The honor guard were flanked by the American and Wyoming flags, fore and aft of those of the four branches of the service flying in the breeze

When the 21-gun salute had been given and the mournful notes of Taps were blown, the service was ended.

Penny Merryfield/Pine Bluffs Post

American Legion Post 60 Honor Guard performs a Memorial Day ceremony at the Pine Bluffs Cemetery. Pictured from left are Betsy Miller, Mike Heath, Howard Eisenhauer, Steve Pfeiffer and Wanda Miller.

Members of the Post then reassembled at headquarters where at 12 noon a dedication ceremony took place. The American Legion Post 60 was christened as the Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post in memory of Eisenhauer, who gave his life in WWII during the battle of Iwo Jima. Three of Eisenhauer's brothers, Lloyd, Tom and Howard, were on hand for the dedication. They were joined by Tom's granddaughter, Rachael and her husband Jason. Also present was Howard's wife Karin.

The Eisenhauers presented a copy of "Letters Home," a collection of Eisenhauer's letters to his mother and his family while he was in service. The book was put together by Tom's daughter Gail. It includes memorabilia from Eisenhauer's time in service.

Also presented was a photo of Eisenhauer taken when he was a new Marine.

The picture holds special significance for the Eisenhauer family and always hung in a place of honor in the family home.

The dedication ceremony was followed by a barbeque of rib eye steaks and pork chops with all the fixins.


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