Special to the Bulletin

Henry “Hank” Weiershausen of Early has received the World War II Veteran Medallion, a commendation for honor, valor and respect for his service in the military, presented by the Non Commissioned Officers Association.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Carl Johnson, retired Capt. Bill Toornberg and retired Master Sgt. Jerrid Caverly from Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene presented Weiershausen the medallion. The ceremony was held Monday at the Weiershausen home, with about 30 family members and friends attending, among them six other World War II veterans.

Weiershausen was born and raised near Fredericksburg and entered the armed forces in 1944. He trained at Fort Hood and was sent overseas with the 46th 8th Army Engineers. They landed on the beach of Okinawa to clear brush, trees and make roads for the troops to land and continue maneuvers.

Weiershausen’s unit was later sent to Hiroshima for clean up and rebuilding and then on to Yokohama to do reconstruction. Weiershausen returned to the United States in 1946, and received an honorable discharge with the rank of master sergeant.

Weiershausen and his wife, Dora, have been married 59 years, are retired and now live in Early.

The Honor and Remembrance Medallion carries this legacy:

“I have never forgotten World War II and the clarion call that awakened and trumpeted our Nation to war, summoning myself and countless others to military service. A world, my world and yours, was changing dramatically as despot leaders of aligned Axis Nations used their military might to extend dominion over new lands and people. Those who sought to dominate never realized that our American spirit and sense of justice was unconquerable. We rose to the challenge. It would take time and sacrifice as Sovereign Nations fell unmercifully and people throughout the world began to see their lights dim, destruction reigned, and people just like you and I lost their basic freedoms and any dream of a future. Many unable to dream had their lives stolen while countless others were destined to fall as they attempted to stop the brutality.

“This medallion has caused me to reflect and remember the countless men and women, many still in high school or college, many still teenagers, who would forever remain young or grow old quickly as they participated in battles that raged on the land, on the sea, and in the air. We fought with all our might to restore order in chaos that existed those many years ago. In harm’s way, we yearned for family and friends and gathered strength from one another to meet the challenge of every new minute, hour and day. Honor, heroism and bold courage reached epic levels as we moved forward repelling enemies while offering compassion and healing for those who had fallen, and for the diverse peoples whose lives and basic freedoms were being restored.

“Never forget the lessons of World War II or the ordinary people who rose up and became truly extraordinary in the battle against world domination. Each did their duty. Never forget also that the cost of world freedom and personal rights were secured by the heroic sacrifice of so many people — military and civilian alike.

“ … Be ever mindful that the American flag and the dignity and value of America’s freedoms must never be taken for granted. The blood, sacrifices and lives of countless patriots were an awesome price to pay for the liberties of this land called America.”