On Monday, residents took time out of their busy schedule to gather at the Petersburg Legion Club for the annual Memorial Day program to show respect for those who have served and continue to serve our country. Post Commander Hank Thieman welcomed all to the program. He said, “The weather is great so visit our cemeteries. This is a patriotic day and we need to remember our loved ones, and those who have helped make our country free.”
American Legion Post #334 presented the colors. Emily Niewohner sang the Star Spangled Banner. The Ladies Auxiliary led all in the Pledge of Allegiance and Chaplain Don Friese gave the devotion.
Keynote speaker LaVern Nissen was introduced by Thieman who said, “LaVern is a very active member of our post and it’s not easy to talk about the experiences which many of the WWII veterans have had. We must remember, of the surviving WWII vets, 1,800 are dying each day in America.”
Nissen added, “I heard on the news that there are only four million WWII vets left.”
Nissen was intereviewed by his granddaughter and grandson for a school project. This is a portion of that report completed by Mitch Nissen.
From the April 24, 2000 interview, Mitch wrote: “He (LaVern) is an incredible person, who fought a bloody battle on the front line, a hero, and I will never truly know what it was really like.”