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September 26, 2014

Stu’s Notes:
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 either side.

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.