Allen Lindholm enlisted in the U.S. Army in February of 1941. If he had made it through World War II and lived the life he deserved, he’d be 102 this year.
But Lindholm, a native of Grand Forks County, did what so many of the Greatest Generation did: He fought for our country, for our rights and for, we assume, what he believed to be a war of right vs. wrong.
As we have done in the past on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the Herald this week randomly selected his name from a massive database compiled by the newspaper that lists all battle deaths, from World War II through contemporary conflicts, of veterans from the immediate Greater Grand Forks region. The list is long, with hundreds of names of young people who left their homes in the Red River Valley and then died in some faraway land, thousands of miles from their friends and families.
Lindholm, according to the website ww2fallen100.blogspot.com, enlisted in the Army and eventually became a first lieutenant in Company C, 99th Infantry. The website notes that the battalion included men of Norwegian descent, organized to participate in what could eventually be an invasion of Norway. Instead, the battalion took part in the rush through France en route to Germany in the summer of 1944.
In August, the 99th was engaged in a fight against enemy tanks near Elbeuf, France. Lindholm died of wounds received during the battle. That was Aug. 26, 1944; six months later, the war in Europe ended.
Special thanks to the website ww2fallen100.blogspot.com, not only for helping the Herald know more about Lt. Lindholm, but also for telling the stories of these fallen heroes. We wish there were more sites dedicated to such a good cause.
Today, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, a national holiday set aside to commemorate the service and sacrifice of all military men and women. The holiday comes each year on the anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918, truce that brought the end of World War I.
While Memorial Day is to remember those who died in service, Veterans Day has a wider reach, noting all who have served.
Today, we thank them -- all of them -- for their efforts. Anyone who commits themselves to service on behalf of others deserves our appreciation. Every person who signs up to serve in the U.S. armed forces does so without knowing exactly what that commitment will bring.
Will they be sent to some hostile land far from home?
And even those who spend their years in service quietly are making a sacrifice that so many others have not made. It takes a special kind of person to sign up for military service.
And some, like Lt. Allen Lindholm, make the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank you, veterans, for your dedicated service to preserve freedom and protect us all.