Now we can pause a moment while waiting for the boat -- whether homeward bound or CBI
bound, no one yet knows -- to think back to those wet weeks in Normandy, the grueling
convoys. We have a deep place in our hearts for the hospitable Hollanders and their
spic and span coal-mine baths.
We recoil from memories of smoky basements and dugouts, frontline vigils, and winter
snows along the Roer. We wonder now at the great-heartedness which sent green troops
swarming over Tiger Royals in the thunderous battles of Immendorf. We swell with pride,
and yet there is a knot in our throat for the comrades who fell in our great
victories -- the Roer crossing, the push to the Rhine, the Wesergebirge,
the dash to the Elbe.
We count our prisoners, 147,000. We count those who fell against us -- with a pang that
such things should happen in this modern world -- over 4,000. The figures mount. 345
planes, 24 tanks, 14 railroad guns, 67 hated 88's, car-
loads of ammunition and military equipment. The list covers pages.
Ozarks can well be proud of their contribution. The 102d Infantry has seen history in
the making, has made history. And now we look forward to the inevitable end, with a
sigh of relief, a tear for fallen comrades, and a firm determination that those immortal
words stemming from an earlier conflict will assume a new prophetic meaning: "It is for
us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought
here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great
task remaining before us, -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to
that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this (world) under God shall
have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the
people, shall not perish from the earth."