Speech given by John Herndon Flinn Memorial Day 1989 at the dedication of a memorial in Taft, Tx. for those killed in war.
Brother Mike and I and all of the Flinn family want to express our appreciation for the honor this dedication bestows on one of our forebearers (sic). It is our very great honor and privilege to Participate.
Marine Sgt. John Evan Flinn was born October 11, 1897, in Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas, the second son of John W. and Sarah Ann Flinn. He died in combat with the 5th marine Regiment at Muese -Argonne in France on October 4, 1918, just seven days before his 21st birthday. Uncle John entered the United States Marine Corps on April 17, 1917, at Paris Island, South Carolina. After training his 5th regiment was made a part of the fourth brigade, 2nd division American expeditionary force in France where he served until his death. He received the battlefield appointment of sergeant on September 23, 1918. His unit was cited by the French Army for its heroic exploits at battles at Bouresches, Belleau Wood and Champagne. He received the French Medal for bravery, the Croix-De-Guerre. In addition he was awarded medals for the defense sector, battles at St. Mehiel, Aisne-Marne, and Muese-Argonne, the last major battle of the war. He received his victory medal posthumously.
John Evan Flinn and his family were members of this Methodist Church.
This recitation is but a small sample of what has been done by those who have bought and paid for our freedom with their lives. More than one million one hundred and sixty thousand have died in our nations wars. We should ever remember what could be said about all these brave men and women and their sacrifices. We should never forget the Captain Jack Foleys the Major Willis Scriveners, the Sergeant Leonard Newmans. Remember James McNeil, Pablo Martinez, August Schmidt, Jr., Howard Teel, John C. "Buddy" White, Wesley Schmidt and Raymond Torres. I could stand here and call out the names of those, from this town, and from this area for a long time, those who gave their lives so that we may be free.
In addition there are those who survived the battle, but have spent the rest of their days suffering the effects of those conflicts.
Memorial Day is their day. They each and all deserve our remembrance. John McCrae said it beautifully in his poem:
In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from falling hands we throw the torch;
Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break the faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.
May we now join in that prayer that we all know:
"Our Father . Amen." May God rest their souls.