We had our POW/MIA Recognition Ceremony. After doing it for 10 previous
years we are getting quite good at it. Boy Scout Troop 29 did a
good job of presenting the Colors. Sadly, they and my Granddaughter
Jessica and her friend Ashley and 2 or 3 other young children were
the only ones under 15 or so. Most of the crowd was over 50 years
old. Who’s going to carry on in the future? Most Veterans groups
in Oroville need some young men and women, to carry on.
Enough negative stuff, Stu. It was a great night. Sherry Morehouse
told me one of the local Buses on its Route, came by us very slowly
and very quite. Many cars came by, if you come by next year wave
but please don’t honk. Better yet stop and join us as the ceremony
is a very solemn, special event. Remember we are Honoring those
who spent many terrible years in a very harsh evil environments.
The MIA’s never came home. So show some respect as you drive by.
Our Guest Speaker this year was Bob Hewitt who did a very interesting
presentation. Morris “Mac” McFarland did the opening prayer and
the Benediction, Jonathan Taylor told about the history of POW/MIA
Recognition Day, which is the third Friday in September each year.
Bill Connelly did the “Missing Man Table”. He told of all of the
symbolism of each element on the table. Bob Morehouse Placed the
Rose on the Table and Sam Bebout placed the Hats on the Table. Our
Methodist Pastor Dave Reick was there in his 20 year old Military
Uniform sporting his Chaplain Cross. For me it was a very special
night as I had invited a man I never had met. I knew his daughter
and went to O.H.S and Thermalito Grammar School with his niece.
Wow, as I’m writing this a Soccer ball kicked by my Grandson Noah,
just whizzed by my head missing by inches and broke a large window,
18” from my head. Noah was quite upset but I used the famous words
of a friend of mine who is gone, Jan Pinkston, “It’s just a thing,
don’t worry Stu.” After my easel fell on her husband Bill’s antique
car. But that’s another story. Jan’s Memorial Service was held at
the Eagles, the whole place was packed and over flow was out the
door, and it is a big place. She was quite a Lady. Back to the POW/MIA
night, I Met Leroy Meyer, a man who spent over 4 years in the most
terrible place in the Pacific, a prison in Japan. I hope to do his
story it should not be forgotten. He was captured on Wake Island
2 ½ weeks after Pearl Harbor. They fought hard, Marines and Civilians
Construction Workers and some wanted to fight on but their Commander
surrendered them. Leroy spoke so eloquently and said he had after
many years, finally forgave the Japanese. He also read a poem he
wrote. He and his father were both taken prisoners and both made
it home alive. On Saturday, the 20th Feather Falls Casino, young
James Townsend, the head Wrangler of our Motor Cycle Run, put on
a day long event out there. “Bikes” came from all over, 15 of my
Iron Worker Local 118 friends came up. Many I had worked with over
the years. One younger one said hey Stu, I worked with you on that
12 story Redding Jail, 35 years ago, remember me. He was an apprentice
then. When I found out the whole 12 floors of Iron came from Japan.
I had to put up a sign. But that’s another story. Oh, I won.
Oroville Mercury Register
May 13, 1965
Johnson Vows Red China Will Not Take Over Asia
Washington (UPI)- President Johnson said today the Viet Nam conflict
was part of a Chinese Communist drive to take over all of Asia and
he pledged: “They shall never succeed.” Johnson discussed the role
of Chinese Reds in a White House talk to an audience of editorial
cartoonists. His remarks were televised and broadcast to the nation.
“Their target is not merely South Viet Nam – it is Asia,” he said
of the Chinese Communist. “Their objective is not the fulfillment
of Vietnamese nationalism. It is to erode and discredit America’s
ability to help prevent Chinese domination over all of Asia. In
this they shall never succeed.” Johnson in his speech renewed his
call for unconditional peace talks and emphasized his proposal of
a massive Southeast Asian aid program in which he invited Russia
to join. “I call on every industrialized country, including the
Soviet Union, to create a better life for the people of Southeast
Asia,” he said, “Surely the works of peace can bring men together
in a common effort to abandon forever the ways of war.” He blamed
the Chinese Reds for blocking peace negotiations. Johnson said:”
We are ready for unconditional discussions, and it would clearly
be in the interest of North Viet Nam to come to the conference table.
For them, continuation of war without talks means only damage without
conquest. “Communist China apparently desires the war to continue
whatever the cost to their allies.” The President said there was
greater need than ever for peace talks and the setting up of the
aid program because no purely military solution was in sight for
More Stu’s Notes:
Well President Johnson didn’t even have a First name in this Front
Page Mercury article but he was right. Red China did not take over
Asia but they were sure involved in the countries that were taken
over by the Communist and a lot of Young American men died in the
next 10 years Many from Butte County.