Local WWII veterans honored in book

Wanda English Burnett

The project of publishing 'Lest We Forget', a tribute to World War II veterans of Ripley County was a personal mission for the authors, Norris and Joan Krall of Osgood. “We wanted a permanent record for generations to come and there wasn’t anything like this,” the Kralls told The Versailles Republican, when they first began the project more than two years ago.

It has been a journey that the Kralls have literally lived with papers spread out on their kitchen table in their home as they researched and compiled all of the information in this publication. The couple note they had many people who helped them by submitting information. But, they were the ones who did the majority of the research and compilation, indexing and making the project a reality.

The Kralls have been involved with the historical society for a number of years and were instrumental in other publications for the society. This one about World War II was especially poignant to them as they both lived through the horrific years of the war and had loved ones who served. Norris had 15 first cousins who went to war during those years and Joan had an uncle who served his country during this time.

Only a brief section of the impressive 367-page hard cover book is dedicated to the Kralls and that’s the way they like it. The two are unassuming, giving, and only want the limelight to be shone on the true heroes - the people the book highlights - veterans of World War II.

The front cover is a photo of the Veteran’s Memorial on the Ripley County Courthouse lawn with the flag blazing above. Inside there is a brief history of the war itself, and a page defining medals, ribbons, awards and badges.

There are photos of individual soldiers, as well as group shots that were submitted for the publication. The 3,200 veterans are listed in alphabetical order for easy reading.

To purchase this one-of-a-kind publication you can go to the Ripley County Historical Society Archives, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Versailles. The society is open from 1-4 p.m. weekdays. The cost of the book is $35.00. It can also be ordered by mail for $40. The archives address is PO Box 525, Versailles, IN 47042. You can call 689-3031 for more information. All rights from the book are being donated to the society.

Pictured are members of the Ripley County Historical Society at the archive building located on the square in Versailles after they unloaded a shipment of their newest release, 'Lest We Forget'. This book contains entries of local soldiers from World War II, including photos and information. Pictured in the back row are: Daniel Welch, Bill Gloyd, Cheryl Welch, Henry Walker, Michael Stratton; front row: Owen Menchhofer, Sandra Gloyd, Alice King, Joan and Norris Krall.