Porter County ceremony honors sacrifices of others
BY AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune Correspondent November 11, 2013 1:22PM
Navy veteran Jim Spanopoulos reads the names of Porter County soldiers killed in the line of duty Monday during a program at the Duty and Sacrifice Wall at Foundation Meadows. | Post-Tribune Photo
Updated: December 13, 2013 6:13AM
VALPARAISO — Every year, Eva Brewster stops by the Service Memorial at Foundation Meadows.
She looks for the name of her uncle, Paul Van Dusen, a soldier in World War II who, with other Porter County veterans who lost their lives in wartime, is immortalized on the Duty and Sacrifice Wall.
Monday, she didn’t know a Veterans Day program was taking place, but it didn’t matter; she would have come to the memorial all the same.
“It’s something that I do. It’s important to me,” the Valparaiso woman said, adding that her son served in Vietnam.
More than 30 other people took the time out of their day to stop by Foundation Meadows for the Veterans Day program, which included reading the names of Porter County soldiers lost to war.
The memorial was created in 1993 to honor a wide array of community leaders, from teachers to those in scouting, said John Seibert, director of the Valparaiso Parks and Recreation Department.
The highest honor within the memorial is the Duty and Sacrifice Wall, dedicated to those in public safety and the military who gave their lives in the line of duty, he added.
Army veteran Kurt Nichols said one of the first things soldiers received when he served in Korea was a “short-timers calendar,” and soldiers asked each other how short their time was.
The worst words a soldier could hear, said Nichols, pastor at New Song Church, was that their time had been extended.
“We always prayed for that day when they, too, could wake up and go home,” he said, adding many soldiers never got that chance. Those soldiers who went home owe the soldiers who did not go home for their sacrifice, “so we could have this place and time together.”
Mayor Jon Costas said he recently spent some time reflecting while going though a family photo album. Such time gives people the chance to think about the events that have shaped them, and consider those who have helped them along the way.
“That’s what today is about — celebrating the present, anticipating the future, and looking back,” he said.