Memorial Day Program honors Korean War veterans
MORRIS – “Scripture tells us that there is no greater love than a man laying down his life for his friends. The men and women that we honor and remember today have proven that they are not just friends to us as Americans, but they are friends to men and women around the world,” Commander Ted Storck said in his Memorial Day address at the National Guard Armory in Morris.
Storck, a retired Navy Reserve commander and commander of VFW Post 5039 in Morris, argued that the sacrifices made by servicemembers have changed the world.
“There is a simplistic and naïve belief that war doesn't solve anything,” said Storck. “I suppose that's true unless you count winning America's independence, the preservation of the Union, the elimination of slavery and the toppling of fascist, imperialist and terrorist regimes.”
Storck started his career in the Navy in 1956 as a recruit in the Navy Reserve. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a B.A. in journalism, Storck was granted a commission as an ensign in the Navy Reserve.
During his Navy career, Storck served in the Pentagon as acting photo officer and earned the Bronze Star with Combat “V” while serving with the Navy in Vietnam before retiring in 1991.
In his address, Storck told listeners that citizens honor those who have died defending America by remembering their families by offering “shoulders to cry on, assistance with educational expenses and assurance that their loved one's sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
“We owe it to the heroes that died and the loved ones left behind to make sure their sacrifices are always remembered and that their service to this nation always will be remembered,” said Storck.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Joan Kopacek, president of the VFW Auxiliary, offered a tribute to the veterans of that conflict.
Kopacek specifically recognized Capt. Horace H. Myers Jr. of Morris, one of the 108 soldiers from Minnesota still missing from the Korean War. Myers was declared missing in action on March 19, 1951 when the plane he was piloting on a photo reconnaissance mission went down in Korea.
Myers was born in Hancock on July 16, 1919, the oldest of three sons. The family moved to Morris when Myers was two years old, and the young man was known to be a “fun-loving, mischievous, daredevil,” Kopacek said.
After graduating from the Army Air Force Advanced Flying School at Stockton Field, Calif., he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Reserves
“Several times he made it home to 'give the folks a thrill' by buzzing Morris and Hancock in a B-38, and once at night flying low over Hancock in a B-25, causing many of the residents to panic, believing they were under attack,” said Kopacek.
By the end of World War II, Myers had flown 57 combat missions and was awarded the Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters for meritorious achievement and the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement as a pilot of a reconnaissance plane.
Myers married his wife, Jean, in 1948 and they had a son, Michael Earl. His parents were Sheriff Horace H. and Doris Myers.