After lobbying for years, city officials on Tuesday, Aug. 12, put her father’s name, Leon Anglemyer, on a World War II memorial at Elkhart City Hall. The names of two uncles, Everett and Wilbur Anglemyer, were also put on the memorial.
"We must never forget those who made sacrifices for our freedom and our great country,” Ron Lundy, head of the Elkhart County Veteran’s Service Office, said at the ceremony for the three men, who all served in World War II. “We must take care of our veterans.”
Lewis noticed her father’s name was missing from the memorial during a visit to City Hall about five years ago. The Elkhart woman called around over the years hoping to fix the oversight, initially without success. Then following a story on her efforts in The Elkhart Truth in June, Lundy and city officials checked into the matter and determined that Anglemyer’s name, indeed, deserved to be on the wall.
Lewis mentioned her two uncles, who also served during in the U.S. Army during the war, like their brother, and officials determined their names merited space as well.
The names had been inadvertently overlooked, Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore said at Tuesday’s ceremony.
“Today we make that right. Today we tell Elkhart they also served,” he said. He hopes the ceremony prompts others to step forward with the names of more Elkhart County veterans who served in the war but aren’t named on the memorial.
‘WOULD’VE APPRECIATED IT’
The memorial consists of three large wooden boards on a wall on the lower level of Elkhart City Hall. They contain name after name of military veterans who served during World War II.
About 60 people packed into the small space in front of the memorial for the ceremony Tuesday, including Margaret Shearer, Leon Anglemyer’s wife until his death. Also on hand was another Anglemyer brother, Warren of Union, Mich.
"They would’ve appreciated it. They wouldn’t say much, because they were the quiet type,“ he said. Warren Anglemyer had hoped to serve during World War II, but because his three brothers were serving, the Army wouldn’t let him.
Leon Anglemyer was a prisoner of war during World War II, held for around three months in a German POW camp. He survived, but the harsh treatment took a toll, according to Lewis, and factored in his death in 1964. Everett and Wilbur Anglemyer lived longer but have since passed away.