Wreath-laying honors WWI German prisoners buried at Fort Douglas

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  • Rock Of The Marne Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 15, 2010 7:14 p.m.

    Thank you for whoever organizes this event and many thanks to Capt. Roth for officiating for as many years as he has. I think it is a sign of great respect to honor all soldiers even if at one time they were your enemy. Like "Lost in DC" said these young German soldiers were fighting for their country just like our soldiers were. They came from towns small and large, loved their mothers and sweethearts back home and died all too young far away from their homes doing their duty. As a related note to quell some of the hatred for France that many American's have today, do you realize that individual French families have signed up to watch over and place a wreath or flowers at least every year on every American grave sin France (Both WWI & WWII) on Memorial Day. I saw more than a few American flags in the windows of houses in the Meuse Argonne region of France. Also, the only other flag regularly displayed at the daily re-lighting of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe is an American flag. Lets end the hate.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 1:38 p.m.

    It has been about 10 years since I last attended this yearly event. There are German POW solders from both World Wars buried there and also many Italians and one Japanese. I do not understand the German language, but the service is a dignified yearly event.

    About 6 of the WW2 Germans were machine gunned one night in their tents by an American camp guard. This event took place in the Richfield, Utah area.

    Almost all grave markers appear to be basic U S Government issue. There is one that is not standard GI type issue in the Fort Douglas Cemetery. There is one grave marker that includes a SWASTICA . Someone paid to have a larger grave marker with this symbol on it. To say the very least, it seems very out of place in an American Military Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 12:53 p.m.

    Note that this was mostly a ceremony involving the Germans living amongst us, not the U.S. Army conducting the event.

    These POWs were treated humanely under the Geneva Convention and when they died here, were in the U.S. Army cemetery as is the custom.

    Remember, in all wars prior to WW2, disease caused more deaths among military personnel than battle wounds, so deaths among POWs were about as common as among American Doughboys in training camps.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    learn a little about WWI and what the German people were told and what their soldiers were taught before making such statements, please.

    Condemn the Kaiser and his generals all you want, but don't rail on the common foot soldiers who saw there duty no less than how our doughboys saw theirs.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Nov. 15, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    ** "It seems odd to be honoring soldiers who were trained to kill Americans." **

    Perhaps, but it also seems like a gesture of reconciliation among nations that have since become allies and friends. If we as individual people did that, maybe we would all get along along better as neighbors.

  • Forestille Provo, Utah
    Nov. 15, 2010 10:34 a.m.

    I cannot guess why these soldiers died here in our care; but as the son of a WWII U.S. Marine and Family of Marines and Service men who have served from the Revolution through Vietnam, I know my Father would have appreciated and respected this wonderful gesture of respect for these German Soldiers. I only wish there was a way to at last take them back home so they could be honored by their own and rest in peace in their own land as we would want for our own sons.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:48 a.m.

    It seems odd to be honoring soldiers who were trained to kill Americans.

  • Janadele¬© Sydney, NSW
    Nov. 15, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    God bless President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, and the German people.

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    Nov. 15, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    Germany has always had a tender spot in my heart. I was born in Wiesbaden in 1955 when my dad was stationed there as an Air Force officer. The local German branch was really struggling, so the military branch and the German branch were consolidated. My dad served as the branch president--he had to learn German for his assignment in Germany, so he was fluent. Sacrament meeting was conducted in English and German. The Americans sang from the English hymnal and the Germans from the German hymnal. He had a wonderful experience working with the German Latter-day Saints. This article resonated with me at a very personal level. Thank you for the article and the pictures.