Purdum, Neb., celebrates Memorial Day in style

Linda Teahon
for Tri-State Livestock News

A beautiful day with blue skies welcomed well over 100 guests to the Purdum United Church of Christ Memorial Day Service on Sunday, May 29th. at Purdum, Nebr. The event started with a carry in dinner followed by a program honoring five local servicemen who served in World War II and died fighting for their country.

Pastor Diana K Jahn welcomed the crowd with an opening prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Kay Lynn Bestol acted as Mistress of Ceremonies. She told the story of PFC Raymond L Luther, Rifleman, US Army. Wayne & Joyce Bestol sang a song that was a favorite of PFC Luther.

Pam Moody spoke about PVT Ole Strand, US Army. Jean Cox shared stories about 2LT James M Holmes, US Army Air Corp. Kay Lynn Bestol told about SGT Andrew McDonald, Infantry, US Army and Lois Gordon delivered known information about TM Max Rodgers, US Navy.

Leland Johnson knew all five men and spoke of them with fond memories. PFC Greg Schukei read letters written by soldiers Luther and McDonald. Tricia Schukei read a letter to SGT McDonald from his mother. SGT McDonald had been dead a month when the letter was written however his mother had not yet received word of his death. Mike Baxter sang several songs including “Paper Doll” which he wrote in honor of his father Burl Baxter, who was a nose gunner in WWII

Following the service the crowd proceeded to the Purdum Cemetery where the American Legion Post 79, Military Honor Guard of Ainsworth gave a 21 gun salute. The American Flag was then folded and taps were played. Children brought fresh flowers and put them on soldiers’ graves. Every grave in the cemetery already had flowers placed upon them by the Cemetery Association. This is an annual event.

Purdum, population 10 is located in the northwest corner of Blaine County, Nebraska along the North Loup River.