Remembering Ramsey’s Sacrifice on the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day

Private Nicholas Stocker

Private Nicholas Stocker

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On November 11th this year, the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, or the end of World War I, was celebrated throughout the world. Thanks to research and a presentation created by Mr. Lyle, the event was commemorated in a special way at Ramsey High.

Mr. Lyle developed a tribute to some of the young men in Ramsey that made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. In doing so, he helps us bridge a century gap to think about individual people, from our hometown, in a way distinct from what more general historical accounts can provide. Men such as Herman Stein, who died of his wounds in France as a member of the 308th Field Artillery Unit in the 78th infantry division. Or Privates Toby Jannicelli and George Hemion of the NJ National Guard, who were killed in action on the Western Front, and who had participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive In France. Or Private Alonso Paglia, an Italian immigrant who died of illness in France as many soldiers did. Or Private Edward Konnight, who at 22 died of his wounds just three days before the end of the war.

The presentation closes with images from the collection of the Ramsey Historical Association, including the Joseph Wagenhoffer uniform and the incredible collection of letters, postcards, and artifacts of Nicholas Stocker, lovingly preserved by his sister Minnie Stocker. Minnie died in 2004 at the age of 109, and her trunk was donated to the museum. The fact that a large portion of the donated trunk, that represented the sum total of what was important in her long life, was dedicated to saving the war correspondence of her brother who died of pneumonia in France as part of the 312th Engineer Regiment at the age of 24, reminds us that Gold Star families never really get to move on from losing their loved ones to war, even 86 years later.

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