Veterans and family members attended the memorial
GOSHEN – It was 99 years ago on September 29, 1918 when 40
soldiers from Orange County were killed in the Battle of the Hindenburg
Line in Northern France.
In their memory, veterans and others gathered at the Orange County Veterans’
Cemetery in Goshen on Friday to remember their sacrifice.
County Executive Steven Neuhaus, himself a Naval Reserve officer, said
those who came before us to preserve freedom must never be forgotten.
“It is our obligation to make sure that their sacrifice has not
been forgotten and wasn’t in vein,” he said.
Barbara Allen, whose husband, Lt. Louis Allen, was killed in Iraq 12 years
ago, reflected on the sacrifice of families who lose loved ones in service.
Allen: "lead by example"
“I have a love-hate relationship with this place. I hate it because
it reminds me of that day over 12 years ago when I stood here with my
family to bury my husband who had just died in Iraq. I hate it because
it takes me back to those feelings I felt, the pain and the anguish that
were burned into me, that were branded into my heart, into my soul, and
will never fully leave me,” she said.
Three years ago, Allen was hired by the county as a veterans’ specialist
and that has helped her cope with own sorrow. It was then that she found
her mission – “It is upon us as Gold Star family members to
lead by example, to carry forth the mission that people that we love felt
so dearly about. They would never have left somebody behind on the battlefield.
They would never have let somebody suffer if they could do something about
it,” Allen said.
She told the gathering Gold Star families must lead by example and let
current veterans who return with wounds – visible and invisible
– “understand fully it is not our desire that they should
feel guilty that they came home when the person we loved did not. It is
instead our wish, and it is their duty, to live that full, long, happy
life. This is how they carry forth the legacy of all who fell.”
In the World War I Battle of the Hindenburg Line, the last line of German
defenses, the US and its allies broke through, helping to win the war.
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