McKenzie County Veteran Service officer Jerry Samuelson organized funeral honors and placed veteran medallions on the headstones of three World War Veterans who died 100 years ago while serving at the University of North Dakota Student Army Training Corps.
Graveside ceremonies were held in Keene ND at the Good Hope Cemetery gravesite of Private John Jacobson, Charbonneau Cemetery gravesite of Private John William Ramsey and in Watford City at the Tepee Butes Cemetery (AKA: Cherry Cemetery) gravesite of Private Walter L. Johnson. All three were members of the UND Student Army Training Corps (SATC) in Grand Forks ND and died within days of each other as results of the the Flu Pandemic. 27 members of the SATC died in October and November of 1918 from the outbreak. 22 of the veterans were not provided military honors, headstones or markers. Now 100 years later those deserving veterans were remembered and received the honors they deserved. The Watford City Carle E. Rogen American Legion Post # 29 provided the honors and the veteran Medallions were permanently fixed to the headstones.
The oversight was discovered as a UND Doctorial candidate Janet Wolf Strand was working on a memorial at UND. She had visited each gravesite and noticed the lack of markers or recognition. The North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs checked with the Federal VA National Cemetery Administration and verified that 22 of the 27 veterans were not provided headstones or markers. Through a group effort with the County Veteran Service officers all 22 medallions were ordered and placements and ceremonies were planned. Several are being placed on the anniversary of their deaths or as part of the World War I Centenial events planned for this year.
Learn more about Private John Jacobson
Lean more about Private John William Ramsey
Learn more about Private Walter L. Johnson
Learn more about the other fallen members of the SATC
Learn more about the SATC memorial
Learn more about the McKenzie County Veteran Service Office