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Colfax Messenger archives: Hold Memorial Service for Victor Olson

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  Although Victor L. Olson of Colfax was killed in action in New Guinea in January of 1944, it was not until July that a memorial service was held for Victor.

The July 6, 1944, edition of the Colfax Messenger contained the following article about the memorial service under the headline of “Hold Memorial Service For Victor Olson.”

The subheading of the article reads, “Impressive Service Held at Lutheran Church for Late Sgt. V.L. Olson”

“Impressive memorial services were preached by the Rev. S.M. Moe at the Colfax Lutheran church on Monday afternoon for the late Sgt. Victor L. Olson, who was killed in New Guinea on Friday, January 28.

“Unusual was the service performed by Sgt. Olson while with the armed forces. He was twice cited for bravery in action, first receiving the Silver Star, and later the Oak Leaf Cluster, before he was killed on January 28. Olson’s heroic death has been fully related in previous issues of The Messenger.

“Rev. S.M. Moe impressively brought out the fact that the death of Sgt. Olson was one of the factors that made it possible for us to continue our civil liberties, and enjoy the rich heritages of democracy.

“The world cannot be ruled by greed and force, Rev. Moe stated. We must have the right to worship God as we please, and this is possible only in a democracy. Men and women enter the service and make great sacrifices in order that we may remain a free people, both in worship and in many other ways.

“The Olson family entered the church behind an honor escort of Legionnaires and service men. The service group formed an honor guard as the family left the church.

“Surviving to mourn Sgt. Victor L. Olson’s departure is his father, Carl J. Olson, and the following brothers and sisters: Gladys (Mr. R.H. Thom) Tampa, Florida; Mrs. Loretta Conradi, St. Paul; Vernon and Clifford, both of the armed forces; Lorraine, Betty and Duane, all of Long Beach, Cal. Other relatives in this community also survive. His mother preceded him in death about two years ago.”

Card of Thanks

The front page of the July 6, 1944, Messenger also included a “Card of Thanks” from Victor Olson’s family:

“It is with a sincere sense of appreciation that we take this means to thank everyone who assisted at Memorial Services for the late Sgt. Victor L. Olson, who was killed in action in New Guinea, January 28. We especially thank Rev. S.M. Moe for his comforting sermon, Sylva Swenson and Berdie Bronken for their singing and music, the Legionnaires and service men, those who gave to the Missions and all our friends who in any way assisted. — Carl J. Olson and family.”