Wednesday, May 25, 2016
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Thirty-four flags added to Avenue of Flags

(LE MARS)--Thirty-four flags dedicated to those who served their country edged the sidewalk leading to the Plymouth County Courthouse for the first time on Memorial Day in Le Mars.

The flags were for Clark M. Bolser Sr.; Ronald H. Burkard; Harold L. Buss; "Reinard "Reine" Dreckman";
Robert Dyslin Jr.; George W. Frerichs; John E. Galles; Robert J. Galles; Ronald R. Hansen; Elmer H. Heien; Virgil T. Hoebelheinrich; Patrick Holton; Merlin Ideker; Pat Kelly; Albert D. Lade; Robert A. Lade;
Eugene A. Lee; Wendell J. MaComb; Ronald J. Mullally; Clayton Nemmers; "Hilton "Red" Pecks"; Gordon D. Phipps; Walter J. Phipps; David R. Rohlfsen; Harley Rollinger; Anthony Ruhland; Franz W. L. Schneider; Kent Schwiesow; Leon L. Steele; James C. VanGronigen; Claude M. Webb; Allen H. Wernli; Richard J. Wolf ;and  Eugene Zimmer.

The new flags were dedicated when Wasmer Post 241 of the American Legion in Le Mars presented the annual "Avenue of Flags" program. A total of 1,161 flags waved in a sea of red, white and blue on and around the Courthouse block.

Le Mars Community School Band members provided marching music for the parade through downtown Le Mars leading to the Courthouse.

The parade marshalls for the Memorial Day Parade were past commanders of the Legion, Larry Baer and Ken Lubben, both of Le Mars.

The tribute to Second Lieutenant Edmund W. Rohde of Le Mars who died in Germany in October 6, 1944 was given by Legion Adjutant Tom Baack. The bomber's control of the B-17G Flying Fortress was turned over to Lt. Rohde.

Reports indicated anti-aircraft shellers were exploding  and the plane received a direct hit just forward of the tail section causing the plane to hit the ground. The War Department letter explaining the crash stated, "The plane then blew up as they had not been able to dump their bombs, killing the remaining boys and the Germans."

 The more than 40-year-old display at the foot of the Courthouse steps was freshened. Auxiliary member Marlys Thieman and the family of former Auxiliary member Jean Baer provided new wreaths and crosses marking the conflicts from Civil War to the Global War on Terrorism.

High winds and soggy grounds shortened the display of the Avenue of Flags by a few hours. Wasmer Post 241 members and volunteers retired the flags at one Monday afternoon. 




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