Every Memorial Day we honor those who gave their lives for our country. It is fitting and right that we do so. However, our ability to honor them is enhanced when we learn what the battlefield was like. The best glimpses we have are from the survivors. Today's post is provided by my Great Uncle Edward G. Reasoner. He served in World War I.
I was one of four dispatch runners. We left Steenbrugge, Belgium during the night, and went "over the top" October 31, 1918. I was running messages during the night from one Platoon (sic) to another, and was sent out to find a battalion Post Commander. Our company on advancing forward, was a target for the enemy's machine gun and artillery fire. Which was so fierce that we had to dig in. An officer called for a runner, but no one answered, and although it was not my turn to go, I volunteered. The message was an order to advance the machine guns and notify the Post Commander of our predicament. To reach the Post Commander I had to cross an open field covered by German Machine Gun (sic) and artillery fire. I returned safely and volunteered to take another message to the Post Commander. On my way, I came across the Machine Gun Company, who were coming to our rescue, but all had been killed. When crossing the open field the Germans directed their fire on me. I dropped to the ground taking advantage of the opportunity to catch my breath and a long needed rest as well, suddenly I jumped up and ran for the River bank a short distance away, and just rolled over the bank in time as the shrubbery and grass on the bank was being mowed down by Machine gun fire. A bullet went through my pocket, but I returned safely from my second trip. A runner was call (sic) for the third trip and I volunteered again. This message was to the Post Commander, to advance the one pounders. I was just about exhausted by this time and took a shorter cut, but the Germans made it hot for me with their steady fire. I returned safely and found that our company had been reenforced from another battalion and advanced about two Kilometers. Fortunately I came out without a scratch. By carrying these messages, keeping the Post Commander informed, reenforcements were successfully adver to where our Company was and the German's routed.
Edward G. Reasoner, 362nd Regiment - 91st Division
On this 155th Memorial Day, I sincerely thank the men, women and families who serve, as well as allow their family members to serve in behalf of our freedom and safety.