Veterans Day is a day that is revered in the hearts and minds of Americans.
As Veterans Day is upon us I would like to quote a citation entered into the permanent record of the 339th Infantry, Archangel, Russia, April 16, 1919, near the Arctic Circle.
This citation concerns my maternal grandfather, 1st Lt. Edward J. Saari.
Over the signature of Brig. Gen. C. Graham, commanding DVINA Force. By order of Col. Stewart by Capt. H.A. Goff, 339th Infantry adjutant, "At Maximov Skaya, the night of 3rd and 4th March, 1919, this officer, under heavy shell fire, entered a burning building, and, unaided, succeeded in extinguishing the fire. Later, during an infantry attack, he voluntarily, and at great risk, took up a position in the open under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and directed artillery fire on the enemy infantry."
Grandpa was recognized by this citation with an "honorable mention" placed in his personal file.
Of interest to me is that I was born on the night of March 3-4. That would, though, be many years later. And as a young boy visiting my grandparents, grandpa would point out on his body where pieces of shrapnel were still working their way out of his body after all those years. This was fascinating to a kid.
Did you notice that World War I ended with the Armistice of 1918, four months before Lt. Saari and his unit came under this fire from the Red Army.
Adrian P. Heuermann