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Honoring All Who Served - Memorial Day 2023

Remembering What Memorial Day is All About...

Scott HuedepohlRight behind Christmas and Easter (the most important holidays to me) falls Memorial Day.  

It's sad to say, but I’m guessing if I walked down the street today and asked people what the meaning of this holiday is, I would get a bunch of different answers. Some would be right and some probably not. Guess I should try it...

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died while serving the best country in the world, the United States of America. It’s that simple.

We lost a son this past August to cancer and to say that it has been tough would be the understatement of my life. The story I’m about to share is almost impossible for me to comprehend.  

During the beginning of America’s involvement in World War II there were five brothers growing up in the Eastern Iowa Town of Waterloo, about an hour from where I grew up. Five brothers who saw what happen to us in Hawaii and all decided that this country was worth fighting for. The last name was Sullivan and they were of Irish American descent.

All five brothers went to the recruiter’s office and volunteered to go into the United States Navy.  Part of their requirement was that they would all be on the same ship, so as not to be separated. They were all assigned to the USS Juneau, a light cruiser. I’m sure the recruiter at that time didn’t believe this to be the best situation, but keep in mind we were fighting for our freedom which had just been put into jeopardy.  

On November 13th, 1942, almost one year since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the USS Juneau was hit and sunk. All five of the Sullivan brothers died.

I cannot imagine the pain that their mother felt (I believe that their father was deceased) the day the Navy Officer showed up at her house. Just in a moment, she lost her family.  

Mrs. Sullivan died in Waterloo, Iowa on April 23rd, 1972. Thirty years of living in the pain from that November day. Makes me sick thinking about it.

I’m sure there are some of you that feel that I may get a bit overexcited about what is happening in America today. There is a reason I'm so passionate about this country and why I don’t want to see it screwed up. A main reason...I don’t want to let Mrs. Sullivan and her five boys down. It just wouldn’t be fair. 

This Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember those, like the Sullivan brothers. Remember the sacrifice. Remember the history of our country. Remember those who gave their lives so that we could live in the greatest country on earth, the United States of America. And to those of you that have served and continue to serve...THANK YOU. We salute you.

Remember. Honor. Salute.

Kindest Regards,

Scott Huedepohl
President & CEO
Community State Bank