PARDEEVILLE — As veterans and citizen gathered Saturday at the Angie Williams Cox Library to mark Veterans Day, they harked back 99 years.
On Sept. 9, 1918, a young man from Pardeeville died of wounds suffered in what was then called the Great War; it’s now referred to as World War I. His name was Harry D. Jerred — the namesake of Pardeeville’s American Legion Post 215.
And, in quiet conversation before the Veterans Day ceremony, Betty Telvick, who came to the ceremony with her husband, Korean War veteran Marvin Telvick, recalled that next Veterans Day will mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. It happened at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — which is why Nov. 11, originally called Armistice Day, has been celebrated ever since.
In some nations, such as France and Belgium, it’s still known as Armistice Day; in the United States, however, Nov. 11 was renamed Veterans Day in 1954, and was set aside to honor all military veterans, living and dead.
In Pardeeville, members of the American Legion post marked Veterans Day by presenting the library a new flag, a gift from local veterans.
Tom Borgkvist, commander of American Legion Post 215, ceremonially presented the flag to Carol Ziehmke, president of the library’s Endowment Board, before the ceremony, then took it back briefly so that it could be raised outdoors in the library’s courtyard.
The outdoor portion of the ceremony — kept brief due to brisk winds and cold temperatures — included a rifle salute and the raising of the new flag, along with a Wisconsin state flag.
The flag-raising followed a brief ceremony on the library’s fifth floor, where Gerald Lueck, the post’s chaplain, told the audience of about 50 people about Harry D. Jerred.
Don Silver, the post’s historian, had compiled the story of the Marquette County-born Jerred. It was a relatively short story.
He was born Oct. 31, 1895, in Endeavor to Fred and Martha (Needham) Jerred. On Aug. 4, 1918, while he was serving with Company D, 127th Infantry Regiment in France, he suffered wounds during an attack on Fismes, and died a month later, at age 22, in Nantes, France. He’s buried in the Pardeeville Cemetery.
Lueck said Jerred’s friends and relatives remembered him for his “pluck and abundant spirit.”
Most importantly, Lueck said, “He was the first Pardeeville boy to give his life in the Great War.”