Search billions of records on

The Pioneer   Home  |  Recent Updates

Veterans Day Celebrated in Rockne

Saturday, November 8, 2008

10:00 a.m. - Welcome:
Marian Nelson, RHA President - “Welcome to Hilbig Park on behalf of RHA and thank you for attending this recognition of our service men and women. Veterans Day is an American Holiday celebrated to honor all American veterans, both living and dead. On November 11 each year, we especially thank living veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. We want to make sure they know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in their lives to keep our country free.”

Raising of The Flag:
Senior Master Sergeant Peter Gessner, USAF Ret. and Colonel Charles Nelson, USAF Ret.

Pledge of Allegiance
Alois “Pete” Hoffman, Commander of VFW Post 2527

“RHA thanks Peter Gessner for making the arrangements and we are honored and most appreciative to have The Bastrop County Honor Guard with us today to pay tribute to the following men from the Rockne community who were killed in action.”

  • PFC. Walter Hilbig, died June 1, 1942 at Camp O’Donnell after surviving the Bataan death March.
  • PFC. Ernest Bartsch on July 9, 1944 on the island of Saipan. His final resting place is in Honolulu.
  • Pvt. Alvin Goertz died on July 13, 1944 two days after being mortally wounded in France, buried on Normandy Beach.
  • Pvt. Joe J. Barton on December 2, 1944 in France. His final resting place is in Lorraine, France.
  • Lt. Donald Matocha, shot down over Vietnam - finally resting place in Smithville.
10:15 - Doors open to Museum - Refreshments

10:45 - Presentation of  "World War II in the Pacific  •  Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines":
Colonel Ed Lavin, USAF Ret.

Bastrop County Honor Guard   Colonel Charles Nelson and Senior Master Sergeant Peter Gessner  

Chief Petty Officer Howard New and Colonel (Chaplain) Bernard C. Goertz   Colonel Ed Lavin