Remembering veterans

Those who have served this country were remembered and honored Wednesday with a Pearl Harbor ceremony and Christmas program at The Wellington in Minot.

The William G. Carroll American Legion Post #26 has been holding regular events at The Wellington each month since early this year, and this month’s activity was to wish a merry Christmas to the veterans there and other veterans, said Richard Reuer, post chaplain.

During the event Wednesday at the assisted living facility, Millo Wallace, post commander, placed a wreath on a stand in front of the room.

Reuer said the wreath was in honor of World War II veterans including those who served at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Nearly 50 local veterans who have died this year also were remembered with a slide show presentation, showing each of them.

To honor those who are serving in various countries, Wallace lit four candles and then the Christmas candle. Reuer did Christmas readings with each candle lighting. After each candle was lit, all attending the event sang a verse from traditional Christmas carols.

World War II veteran Walter Bachmeier is one of 12 veterans who reside at The Wellington assisted-living facility in southwest Minot. He and his wife, Eileen, attended the program and ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

“I was in the Marine Corps,” Walter Bachmeier said. He said he served from June 2, 1942, to June 6, 1946, in areas including Guadalcanal and other islands of the Solomon Islands. Toward the end of the war he was in Hawaii. “We just stayed there until the war was over.” he said.

Eileen Bachmeier said she didn’t quite get to serve. A graduate of the nursing school at Bottineau, she said, “I registered to serve and about three, four hours later the war was over.” The Bachmeiers farmed in the Esmond area for many years.

Another World War II veteran, Paul V. Breslin, was born at Sanish and then lived at New Town. He said he went into the U.S. Marine Corps on July 10, 1942, and served for about three and a half years.

He was “all over the southwest Pacific” from Japan to Australia, up and down the coasts. “I flew 800 hours in that length,” he said.

Breslin said he was a crew chief on a Curtis R5C. It was the largest and heaviest twin-engine transport aircraft used by the U.S. military during World War II.

Daryl Kramer, a World War II veteran and resident of The Wellington, said he went into the service the first of January in 1943. “They called it voluntary induction,” he said. Kramer is originally from Wabek in Mountrail County.

He served in combat infantry in World War II and after the war was over, served with the war crimes tribunal in Dachau, Germany.

Kramer said he was telling one of his family members recently that he knew Ilse Koch when she was being tried. He was a provost sergeant at Dachau. “We interviewed her in our office,” he said.

Koch, one of the first prominent Nazis to be tried by the U.S. military, was known for atrocities committed at Camps Buchenwald and Majdanek.

“I was in Germany and Austria and then I was stationed here at Minot unit adviser of the Army Reserves ,” Kramer said. He remained in the service for almost 11 years until latter 1953.

The Minot American Legion Post members also handed out candy bars with “Merry Christmas From Post 26 of the American Legion. Thank you for your support!” enscribed on the wrappers.