Chappy’s corner “May we never forget!”

Swen and his wife Rose came to Ole and Lena’s house for dinner. As the women were in the kitchen, the two men began discussing good places to eat.  Swen told Ole, “Just the other night I had the best steak I have ever had.” Ole asked, “What was the name of the restaurant?”  Swen looked puzzled and said, “I don’t quite remember.  But I’m thinking of some flower?” Ole suggested, “A Daisy? “Swen said, “No, it’s a nice smelling flower with thorns on its stem.” Ole replied, “A rose?”  Swen smiled and said, “That’s it. A rose” Then he turned and shouted to the kitchen, “Hey Rose what was the name of that restaurant we ate at last week?”


Hopefully all of us have a better memory than Swen, but I share that story because of a wonderful man by the name of Louis Wudel, whose wife’s name is Rosaline.  Louie would never have forgotten his wife’s name, because he had a good memory, but more importantly people like me have a good memory of Louie.  


Louis died last week at the age of 92.  He belongs to what Tom Brokaw calls the Greatest Generation.  Like many men his age, Louie fought in WWII and then returned home to build a life as a husband, father and car dealer.  However his service to his country didn’t stop when he came home.  He along with others became members of the National Guard and was instrumental in creating the National Guard Unit in Parkston, South Dakota.  For me Louie was our church’s president when I came to this corner of South Dakota. He was also a good friend who loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   I’m particularly happy about that fact, because as a fellow believer, I know that my friend, Louie now is with our best friend, Jesus and that death is not the end.  For through Jesus suffering and death, we have a victory over sin, and by Jesus resurrection from the grave, we have also have a victory over death.   As St. Paul wrote, Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory?    O death, where is your sting?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 15:55-57)


On this past cold Monday at the Parkston cemetery, I read those words to help us remember the sure hope we have in our Risen Redeemer and Lord who made the ultimate sacrifice to give us freedom that lasts forever.   I pray that we may never forget what Christ has done.


Now following my part of the graveside service the military rites were conducted.  As the flag was folded, I thought of all the times I have seen that folded flag handed to a family member with the words “on behalf of a grateful nation” being recited.  It is a solemn act and helps us remember what sacrifices that person made to protect the lives and freedoms of people in this great country.   May we never forget!


That’s just my thoughts from this chilly SE corner of South Dakota

CH (COL) David Gunderson