Between the Lines

Between the Lines by David Lias I have to admit I'm not looking forward to this coming week.

Five days from now, the nation will be observing the one year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Initially, I thought that we, as a nation, had pretty much gone through all the normal stages of grief that occur after something so horrendous occurs.

Evidently, I'm wrong.

Connecticut, for example, is gearing up for potentially big problems. A new state advertising campaign will warn of potential emotional distress and "retraumatization" that the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11 may trigger.

Public service announcements on television and radio stations have already begun airing in that state, and inserts will be placed in newspapers over the weekend.

State mental health experts are urging people to watch for signs of stress and anxiety. They say many people may relive the trauma of last year's attacks.

Ironically, as these suggestions are being made to help people cope with what's to come, we're starting to be bombarded with, well ? what's to come.

The media, especially television, is starting to advertise one special program after the other to time warp us right back to that horrible moment when what at first appeared to be an airplane crash turned out to be a deliberate act of war.

Is it proper to give media coverage to all that we lost Sept. 11, from thousands of innocent souls to buildings that served as icons of America's financial and industrial might?

Naturally. But I hope that's not all that we focus on as we note what happened to us a year ago.

Many times the Sept. 11 attack has been compared to the bombing of our Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor. A year after Pearl Harbor, I wonder, did our citizens have time to dwell much on the anniversary of that act of war? After all, our military was busy in both the Pacific and European theatres, fighting a world war against two formidable enemies.

I hope we pause long enough next week to realize that we are at war, and yet we still are enjoying the highest standard of living on the globe.

Unlike past generations who experienced the WWII era, we are waging a war against terrorism without being asked to sacrifice. There's no sugar or fuel rationing. No limits to meat consumption. Plenty of clothing to buy. There have been no drives for scrap iron or rubber; we only want to get rid of our old tires because we're scared of West Nile.

Our nation was challenged on Sept. 11 to respond to adversity. We will hear countless stories in the next week of thousands of people who gave all they had on that day.

Maybe what will make the next week so difficult for me personally is struggling with the realization that I escaped last year's attacks unscathed.

I won't be grieving anyone. I didn't lose a friend or loved one at the World Trade Center or Pentagon. All of the passengers that died on the hijacked airplanes are complete strangers.

Life goes on. I've got to admit, compared to a lot of people, both in the Middle East and in my own country, I have it rather cosy right now.

That doesn't mean the next few days will be a cakewalk, though. I think everyone in the country was, naturally, affected very dramatically by the events of Sept. 11. That ranges from individuals who had a direct loss to people who may know someone, or people like me who were affected simply by watching the media outlets.

No doubt we will be asked to observe a moment of silence on Sept. 11. It's the quiet, I think, that I look forward to the most.

Phyllis and I were discussing all of the towns and counties in South Dakota named after an individual.

That's when she interjected: "One thing is certain. There'll never be a burg named Karolevitz in this state of ours!"

(She really knows how to hurt a guy.)

"I don't care," I retorted. "All of the men and women who have had something named for them are dead, and I don't want to be honored posthumously. Or even posthumorously, for that matter."

To show her that everybody so enshrined was long gone, I got out the huge tome titled South Dakota Place Names, which was a WPA project before World War II, and began reciting a litany of deceased people.

For instance, if you wanted a county named for you, it was better to be in the Territorial legislature.

The list goes on and on: Alfred Brown, Norman B. Campbell, Rev. G.S.S. Codington, John Shaw Gregory, Maj. Joseph R. Hanson, J.A. Harding, Alexander Hughes, James Hyde, H.A. Jerauld, Col. John Lawrence, Maj. W.P. Lyman, Col. Gideon C. Moody, Dr. Joel E. Potter and Frank J. Washabaugh.

There were others, too, like Bartlett Tripp and Peter B. Shannon, both chief justices of the Territorial Supreme Court; Judge Wilmot W. Brookings, who also had a city and a town named for him; Brig. Gen. William Henry Harrison Beadle, pioneer educator, lawyer, legislator and soldier; William P. Dewey, the Territorial surveyor-general; George H. Hand, attorney general of Dakota Territory; John S. Hutchinson and Gen. Edwin S. McCook, both Territorial secretaries; and Gen. John Blair Smith Todd, a cousin of the wife of Abraham Lincoln and the first Territorial Delegate to Congress.

Territorial governors Newton Edmunds, John L. Pennington, Andrew J. Faulk and Arthur C. Mellette were memorialized in county names, as was Frank M. Ziebach, the "squatter governor" who never had the real title. Henry C. Davison, a pioneer merchant; Jacob S. Deuel, a sawmill operator; Brig. Gen. James B. McPherson and William W. Marshall, Civil War Heroes; and Haakon VII, king of Norway (because there were so many Scandinavians involved there), were also honored.

Of course there were Abraham Lincoln; his vice-president, Hannibal Hamlin; Pres. Ulysses S. Grant; Lincoln's adversary, Stephen A. Douglas; Henry Clay, statesman extraordinary; and others.

When it came to towns, railroad officials and depot agents � like J.B. Stickney, Harrold R. McCullough, Jeremiah Milbank, Alexander Mitchell, J.B. Redfield, Julius Rosholt, John E. Blunt, Hugh Spencer, Jones S. Meckling, Col. Isaac Britton and Elkanah Gay (after whom Gayville was named) � were permanently recognized.

So were governors John A. Burbank, Charles N. Herreid, Nehemiah G. Ordway and Peter Norbeck. Also remembered on the state map were A.S. Garretson, a Sioux City banker; J.S. Presho, a pioneer ferryboat operator; cattlemen Murdo McKenzie and James "Scotty" Philip; Philip D. Armour, meat packer; John Hetland, a murdered homesteader; R.S. Parke, who owned the townsite of Parkston; and Judge Charles Flandrau, before the "e" was added.

There were foreigners, too, like Admiral Lord Charles Beresford of England; Antonio Canova, the Italian sculptor; Dante, author of the Inferno; Count Cavour (Carriello Benno), father of the railroad system in Italy; and John Tyndall, a British scientist.

Historic figures included Father Pierre Jean De Smet, Bishop Martin Marty, Thomas Jefferson, Ethan Allen of Revolutionary War fame, and, of course, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.

There were also lesser known characters like T.H. Peever, a pioneer land owner; Newton Clark, a Territorial legislator; Charles H. Agar, a county commissioner; J.B. Webster and Herst Gann (Gann Valley), early settlers; and Fred Dupris, and Indian trader after whom Dupree was named.

Oh yes, and there were women, too, who lent their first names to towns like Irene, Isabel, Marion, Maurine, Mina and Winfred. Louise Holabird was likewise remembered.

Sorry to say, there wasn't a Polish name among them, so I guess Phyllis was right after all. I'll just have to be satisfied with the Robert F. Karolevitz Memorial Cattle Chute, built on our farm out of used lumber, for my lasting shrine.

© 2002 Robert F. Karolevitz

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