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Veterans Memorial Service Held to Remember "Deadliest Battle In American History", Hindenburg Line

Goshen - Several dozen veterans, their supporters and family members gathered on Thursday morning at the Orange County Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Goshen to remember the approximately 40 lives from Orange County lost and 124 American lives lost exactly 104 years ago, during World War II, when the Americans landed and were killed during the Battle of the Hindenburg Line with a barrage of bullets from machine guns. Christian Farrell greeted the respectful crowd, leading the Pledge of Allegiance while the seriousness of the story of the "Deadliest fight in American history", the soldiers' valiant fight and their tragic deaths kept many heads bowed. County Executive, Steve Neuhaus commented on how fortunate the County is to have Christian Farrel as Director of Veterans Services and that this annual event had originally been Farrell's idea. Neuhaus then recalled his recent trip to Europe with his father, Dr. Ralph Neuhaus. As a serviceman himself it was especially meaningful, he said, "I was able to walk on the same trail as the "Band of Brothers" during the liberation by Easy Company. I went to Eagle's Nest where Hitler stood and saw a playground that my dad said had been filled with crosses marking lost American lives when he was a young boy. Their bodies have since been exhumed and returned to America for their final rest. Johanna Porr Yaun, County Historian, introduced some of the historic details including the heroic actions of the 369th regiment, which back then was a segregated black and under-appreciated unit. They fought for 191 days down in the trenches in France.

Dr. Jeffrey Sammons, Professor Emeritus from NYU, continued the historic details of their accomplishments and how they became known as the Harlem Rattlesnake Division. (about which he has written a book, "Harlem Rattlers"). In recent years their stories have been shared, along with how their recognition encouraged other young black men to join the service. The names of the 40 lost soldiers were read. The Veterans and many others in the crowd stayed for light refreshments and were grateful for the time to spend with longtime service friends.

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