To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, I pay tribute to my two great-uncles who sacrificed their lives.
Carl Albert Roasa
My great-uncle, Carl A. Roasa, was inducted into the Army/Marine unit on July 5, 1917, in Kansas City, Missouri. He served overseas from May 20, 1918, until January 17, 1919, where he died in France of pneumonia at twenty-two years, ten months, eight days.
His parents, Albert and Laura Roasa, bought land, planted trees, and started Granger Cemetery for the burial of Carl Albert. He was the youngest of six children including five boys and one girl. I read in Carl’s war records that his mother was notified of his death. I picture my great-grandmother receiving this devastating news of her beloved son, and my heart breaks.
Carl’s memorial card included this beautiful James Whitcomb Riley poem:
I cannot say and I will not say
That he is dead—He is just away!
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand,
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
Mild and gentle, as he was brave
When the sweetest love of his life he gave.
Think of him as the same I say:
He is not dead—He is just away.
A Soldiers’ Memorial was established near the Scotland County Courthouse in Memphis, Missouri, in 1923, led by the Betsy Ross Club. Other organizations joined forces including Home Guards, Order of the Eastern Star, and Mothers of Soldiers.
The names of the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice from the area were chiseled on the memorial pillars. The honor roll of twenty-five soldiers includes Carl A. Roasa. The engraving reads “In memoriam to the boys from Scotland County 1914 ~ World War ~ 1918, they gave their all for liberty and democracy.”
Rupert Charles Seyb
My great-uncle, Rupert Carl Seyb, enlisted in Sanborn, South Dakota, on June 5, 1917. He served as a private in Company F, 350th Infantry with American Expeditionary Forces. He died from influenza in Naix, France, on February 23, 1919, at twenty-six years, two months, sixteen days.
He is buried at Saint Paul Cemetery near Kahoka, Missouri. (My home town)
World War I Ancestors Who Served and Survived
Great-Uncle Floyd and Great-Uncle Hubert Roasa (brothers of Karl Albert Roasa)
Great-Uncle Raymond Seyb (brother of Rupert Seyb)
Great-Uncle Henry Mohr
The memories of each of these brave great-uncles hold a dear place in my heart. I will always remember their service and sacrifices.