On this Memorial Day weekend, it causes one to wonder how the men who were sent overseas reacted to fighting against people from the Fatherland.
I recall how that on the 75th anniversary of the Texas District, I wrote a fictional scenario of a German/Wend by the name of Moerbe who was sent to Germany and fought in a conflict at Saarbruecken. In my fictional account this young man named Moerbe wrote a letter home to his mother in Lee County. He stated that he had had to kill a German and how terribly it bothered him. After having killed the man, he ran over to the dead German and looked at the man’s dog tags. In his letter to his mother, he said, “Mama, I looked at his dog tags….and, Mama, his name was Moerbe, just like mine.” Though it was a fictional story that I wrote, we put some slides from the war with it and I read the narrative. It was shown at the opening worship service of the 75th anniversary (the same one that Carl Miertschin sang at). It was actually quite effective. I wish I knew what happened to the slides and the narrative. They were put in the District archives, but, as we know, the District archives are ….
The 75th anniversary would have been in 1981….and Glenn O’Shoney was the president. At that time, all of the archives were housed at the District Office. Later, as you know, a large portion of the archives were placed in the basement of Behnken Hall at Concordia…and there was the subsequent water pipe burst that destroyed much of what was there. Then, I guess the balance of the archives were put into the storage facility that the District rents….with a few things being retained at the District Office. HOWEVER, I am fairly certain that the slide presentation would have been stored in the basement of Behnken Hall where so many of the old photos were kept….and ultimately were permanently damaged and destroyed because of the pipeline break. Along with the slides, there was the audio tape that accompanied the slides. I wrote the narrative, but, as I recall, we hired a professional reader to actually make the tape. Back in those days we didn’t yet have all of the digital stuff that we have today, so we just used the technology that was available then, which were slides and audio tapes.
I’ll never forget having written that narrative because we were literally in a planning meeting at the District Office (probably about ten of us), and suddenly the idea of this narrative popped into my mind. Then and there, while everybody else was talking about other aspects of the celebration, I jotted down a rough draft of the narrative. When I was done, I asked to have the floor and I read the narrative. Everyone loved it and voted to make it a part of the worship celebration (even though it was a fictional narrative). The guy who helped me gather the slides and coordinate everything was Keith Loomans. Were he still alive, he might have known what became of it. Anyway, I’ve gone on and on here in answering a simple question. Hope this helps.