Sure to evoke emotions will be the first event. The Moving Wall, completed in 1984, is a half-size replica of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, which pays tribute to the nearly 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War. On Thursday, June 19, The Moving Wall will arrive in Elgin and be set up on the open lot behind Elgin Public Library.
Opening ceremonies for The Moving Wall will be at 5 p.m. Thursday evening. Immediately afterwards, a reception will be held at the KC Hall.
The Wall will be guarded continuously during its stay in Elgin, being lit up at night for those wishing to view it after dark. Anyone wishing to help guard “The Moving Wall” should contact Ray Payne at The Station.
A book will be available on site to help locate specific names on The Wall.
It will leave Elgin on the morning of Monday, June 23.
Sponsors for The Moving Wall are Elgin American Legion Post #229 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5816.
The Moving Wall has been touring the U.S. for almost 30 years and most recently was set up in Albion and Tilden. Legion Commander Gary Hoefer asks all persons who visit The Moving Wall to follow these rules. The Moving Wall is a place for the pubic to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by a generation of young men and women. Accordingly, no pets are allowed near The Moving Wall. Also, no food or drinks will be permitted on the property.
The Elgin Q125 History Books will be distributed on Thursday June 19 at the Senior Community Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 6 to 9 p.m.
The evening hours will coincide with the Vietnam Moving Wall reception which will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall. The remaining books will be taken to the Q125 Headquarters on Main Street and distributed from there on Friday and Saturday. About 120 books will be available for purchase starting that Friday, June 20th.
The committee will not take reservations for these additional books - they will be on a first come, first served basis at the Headquarters and will be selling Cash and Carry only.
It could arguably be the biggest parade ever to be held on the streets of Elgin, but to get there registrations had better pick up soon.
Q125 parade organizer Bev Clark said Monday approximately 40 entries have been received so far for the headline event of the last day of the celebration, June 22. Perhaps it’s because of the weather, maybe people believe they can just show up and be part of the event, but all parade entries need to register prior to the event, and definitely not at last minute.
Parade organizers have made it simple to register for the parade. They can do so online by going to www.elginreview.com. Once there, go down the left side of the page to where the Q125 emblem appears. Click on it, save on your computer and go to the first page and fill out the form, then hit the “submit” button. That’s all one has to do to register.
“We need a complete description of your entry,” Ms. Clark says to potential parade participants. The description will be used at announcing stands to introduce your entry to parade watchers.
“We want to ‘entertain’ parade viewers,” she said about the descriptions. “This is what I would like to know about the parade entry.”
Clark said she would like to have the parade entries as soon as possible to better organize the event. The parade, she said, will be limited to the first 150 entries received.
For the complete story, see the print edition of The Elgin Review.
June 5, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
One of the events Elgin area residents look to during the summer months is the Koinzan Annual Fly-In.
This year’s event will be included among the many activities at the Q125 Celebration on June 20-22.
The Fly-In will be held Sunday morning, June 22 at the Koinzan Airport on the north edge of town. Beginning at 7 a.m., the fly-in breakfast will be open to the public. While there, the public can walk the air field to view the many airplanes which will be parked there.
New this year for the fly-in and special for the Q125, will be an air show.
The air show, to begin at noon, will be performed by Brian Correll of Manhattan, Kan.
Unlike most air show pilots, Brian Correll did not grow up around airplanes. In fact, his first exposure to aviation was through skydiving. After his first jump at the age of 18, he was hooked and ended up having more than 60 takeoffs in an airplane before ever experiencing his first landing. The rest, as they say, is history. He has since accumulated more than 6000 hours of flying time in over 100 different models of aircraft, ranging from Piper Cubs to the Boeing KC-135, but his modified Pitts S2S is by far his favorite ride.
When not performing, Brian flies the KC-135R aerial refueler for the Kansas Air National Guard Kansas Coyotes. He is an aircraft commander and has flown the tanker to numerous countries around the world including combat sorties over Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brian holds an unrestricted aerobatic waiver for air shows and enjoys sharing his passion for flying with fans and spectato
June 5, 2014 by lmorgan · Comments Off
Two Elgin men, now in their 90s, will celebrate a birthday Friday and, no doubt, remember what they were doing 70 years ago that day, besides having a birthday.
They were on boats in the English Channel doing their part in the greatest amphibious operation in the history of the world as Allied soldiers stormed the beaches near Normandy, France.
Gaining a foothold in Europe marked the beginning of the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. The war in Europe would be over in less than a year and the Miller twins did their part, like other soldiers, that day.
Harold and his brother Gerald “Red” Miller got together last week in Norfolk and remembered that time in their lives so many years ago.
The following are Harold’s reflections of D-Day.
An engineer on an LCI and LST 30 (landing ship tank), Harold Miller was doing his part to help win the war long before the sun rose that morning.
He said the first landing occurred at 3 a.m. that morning on Gold Beach.
Gerald’s ship had just come from the Mediterranean where the Luftwafte (Germany’s Air Force) had supremacy over the skies, Harold said. Here’s how he remembers that fateful day:
“It irritates me to read some of the history on the beachings that is wrong,” he said. “I just was reading another article, it was telling about D-day and it went on to tell that there was a group that went in at 6 o’clock in the morning. I don’t how many other ships or if there were other ships…we left Plymouth England about four or six hours ahead of all the other ships. So I never got to see the armada that crossed the English Channel. But we got up there and we anchored out about - I don’t know how far, it was dark. We anchored out and we anchored by the stern anchor because it was cable..a bow anchor was chain, you could hear it for miles. We had 112 British commandos - we had orders to get those commandos to the beach. The first boat was to be on the beach at 3 a.m., the second boat at 3:30 a.m. because at 4 a.m. they were going to start softening the beach up.
“When we hit the beach we had 36 commandos, thats all it (the LST) would carry,” he said. “That’
s an eerie feeling to feel the beach, that boat slide on the beach, and the darkness at that time, on an enemy beach.
“The first load had an hour, the second load we took in had only 1/2 hour to get beyond the beach where they were going to be shelling … They gave us knives so we had no guns - a Navy knife, I’ve still got it - they said if you broach on the beach and can’t get off, go with the commandos. They (the commandos) were tough, I doubt we would have kept up with them.
“The first load met no resistance, but the second time in we did. I don’t know whether some of the first group had screwed up or we had beached where there was a beach crew of lookouts — the commandos went over the side but we didn’t think anyone was hit, there was no blood in the boat. As soon as they got off, we left (Gold Beach). The tide was coming in and that makes it hard to get back off of a beach. We laid out there til morning, til daylight - it’s real difficult to tell, I would say maybe 1/4 mile -. we were close enough, we weren’t really in the fire.
“We gave LST 523 nourishment (water, diesel fuel). We got about a city block away and the 523 blew in half with 400 and some Army men on the tank deck in full gear, ready to hit the beach. It blew in half and they were in the water,” Harold said as he began to choke up.
“After the captain dropped hook he asked for men to go over the side. I am not a swimmer but I had a Mae West (life jacket) on. A guy was out about 50 feet out. He had no life jacket and the water was real choppy. I went down the ladder and dropped in the water.
“You’re afraid because they will panic, they’ll go crazy. I stopped out about 6 feet from him and I said ‘now mate, you’re not going to panic. You’re going to put your hand on my back, I’m going to get you to the Jacob ladder’. He said ‘No, he wouldn’t, he wouldn’t’. I had maybe 200 feet to get to the Jacob ladder.” Around him there were water mines bouncing in the water.
Harold said Gerald’s ship was a little smaller than the one he was on.
“I don’t remember what his crew was. They beached on Utah Beach. Gerald’s ship captain come down along the beach looking for LST 30 because he knew Gerald’s twin brother was there on 30. It was like he was out cruising with a yacht! The minute he saw LST 30 he blew the horn, cut speed and turned a hard right. He came real slow and he honked it again. I was in the gun turret and I went down to the main deck, I ran across and I was in luck, the executive officer was standing there. And I said, ‘that ship that just honked, my twin brother is on it’. He said ‘the small boat’s down, the crews on there. Get it and catch them.’
It had been about 2 1/2 years since they last saw each other. However, they did keep track of one another through letters, thereby knowing what ships the other was on.
The reunion was brief, there was a war to be won.
After awhile, each went back to their tasks on a day which is now part of America’s history.