Things are normally winding down by now at the Lansing Historical Society as we begin the summer break, but there are three events still to come this month. I’ve enjoyed being on the board of the Lansing Historical Society this year and planning programs to follow our World War II theme.
On June 6, the historical society will remember the 69th anniversary of D-Day with the showing of video interviews with some local World War II veterans at the Lansing Public Library, 2750 Indiana Ave. Following the viewing of the interviews in the Community Room at 6 p.m., the Lansing Historical Museum, which is located in the lower level of the library, will be open to view additional information on local World War II veterans and items of that era.
The following evening, June 7, is the Lansing Public Library’s Block Party. The annual event is a great time for families to come out and familiarize themselves with the summer reading program and engage in some fun activities. Among the fun will be old-fashioned games manned by members of the Lansing Historical Society.
Our 2012-2013 year will end with the annual Historical Walk by Paul Schultz on June 24. The group will begin the tour at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind Gayety’s, 3306 Ridge Road, and Paul will take guests for a walk down memory lane by walking down Ridge Road and giving bits of history on various buildings, businesses and families.
The historical society held their annual dinner recently where our yearlong World War II theme was continued with decorations, the T.F. South Jazz Band playing '40s tunes, readings of letters to the home front during the war and the following poem read by Don Olsen. It was written in 1942 or 1943 by his brother, Pfc. August M. Olsen, who died when the plane he was on was shot down over France during the D-Day invasion.
I wonder just what lies ahead?
At the end of this terrible war,
Will I sit and talk of the "good old days,"
As the men who came back before.
Will the friends that I had at home
Be there if I come back?
Will many be there minus arm or leg
That was lost in a savage attack?
How many years do you think it will take
To bring back many Mother's smiles?
Mothers whose sons have never come back
From the far flung Pacific Isles.
I wonder if Hitler and Tojo,
When their bill is presented for pay,
Can ever come close to remittance
For the havoc they created this day?
The future ahead is uncertain,
But one thing is deadly sure,
That the paths of the Axis partners
Are in for a wide detour.
At the all victorious outcome,
When the madmen are packed away,
You know that life will keep going,
In the same old American way.