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Remember true meaning of Memorial Day

My husband was proud of his military service in World War II.

Norman Myhra, a Rosholt native and long-time resident of Stevens Point, was proud to be a veteran of the U.S. armed forces.

He was especially proud to be an infantryman because they did the “real fighting.” Norman always noted that the infantry suffered 80 percent of the casualties during World War II, yet the infantry was made up of only 7 percent of the armed forces.

My husband’s final day on earth was Jan. 16, 2009, 65 years after he was severely injured at the Bay of Cavalier in France.

For this, he was awarded the Purple Heart.

Norman did not regret the fact he lost both hands in service to his country. However, he would say, “You can keep all the medals if you just give me back my 10 fingers.”

Most people think of Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer, to be celebrated with picnics, parades and fun.

Norman always remembered the true meaning of Memorial Day: “It’s about our country and the soldiers who fought and died for our freedom. It’s about being free.”

On Memorial Day, Norman remembered the reflections of his close friend, Ashbury Nix, who was a prisoner of war in Japan. Ashbury said the greatest day of his life was when the enemy’s flag came down and the U.S. flag went up. It truly meant freedom to him.

Ashbury and Norman were life members of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30 in Stevens Point.

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