Denver honors vets at Memorial Day event

By on May 30, 2018

Denver had a larger than usual turnout for their annual parade and services for Memorial Day.

“You’re doing an important thing today in making a difference by being here and you have not forgotten the sacrifices of our soldiers,” said former Army Sergeant Richard Kachel who served in Vietnam. “Today is a solemn day of remembrance that should be properly be set aside to contemplate.”

Kachel said Americans have “lost connection with our history.”

“Families might still gather for picnics, but for many of them, the patriotic spirit of resemblance is absent,” said Kachel.

Kachel listed reasons why the meaning of Memorial Day is becoming extinct.

“We have fewer and fewer veterans to share their story,” said Kachel. “In many of our older veterans, especially WWI and WWII, they tend to be silent, they don’t always talk about their service.

Today we have the smallest military we’ve had in 50 years.”

Kachel said the majority members of congress today “have not served in the military”, and many Americans have “never met a soldier.”

“Today fewer young people are drawn to service, in fact, all the services face challenges in building their recruiting goals,” said Kachel. “Nine out of ten high school students, today, say they have no intentions of serving in the military.”

Luke Royer did share a few details of his time in WWII.

“He met my mother, from Holland, while he was there,” said their daughter, Cyndi Royer.

“We were in a small town near Brussels for three months,” said Royer. “We gave the children of the town a Christmas party. A girl came, and I made a date and she didn’t know what to do with me, so she took me to visit her girlfriend’s family.”

“Her girlfriend became my wife,” said Royer.

“My mom wasn’t allowed to go to the party because of the American servicemen,” said Cyndi.

Royer and Josephine were married for 72 years before she passed away.

Royer was a cryptographer with the Air Force during the war where he decoded secret messages which led to daily missions by the pilots.

“It was an exciting job,” he said. “I was locked up in a chamber.”

A message Royer decoded led to pilots “knocking out” 50 German tanks during the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 27, 1945.

He was awarded a Bronze Star.

Royer was used as a translator because he knew Pennsylvania Dutch which the Germans could understand.

“One day, 98 B-17s dropped about 2,000 bombs on the Germans and 5,000 surrendered in our area,” said Royer.

“I told them that we would take good care of you, in Dutch,” said Royer. “They were now prisoners and shell-shocked.”

Paul Studenroth, a tail gunner on a B-29 which was shot down near Tinium over the Pacific Ocean in March 1945, was honored at the service.

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *