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Norman W Ewert

Canada

August 8, 2008

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
89 Army  

 

 Combat Medic's Badge and Purple Heart in WW2 in North Africa and Europe.

For memorial service snapshots, Click photo below

August 29, 2008

From the Oregon Forum at PGR Website: 

The above is from the Mission thread for Norman W. Ewert. We, collectively, the Patriot Guard Riders, are now in possession of the flag folded by the Military Honor Guard at Norman's services Friday. 
Because this became buried under the "completed mission" thread I was afraid not many would know the details of this mission, and I want you all to know them. I also want Norman W. Ewert's name to ring out loud and clear, because it nearly slipped away quietly. I will post Nick's Ride Report below and my comments also. I will also post the link to the entire thread for any who did not see it already. 
Remember that this was a man that was slated to ride up the hill , after 90 years on this planet, with not a soul except for the coach driver along, and instead he was lead up that final hill by a Missing Man Formation of 5 bikes with flags flying in front of the coach being driven by two caring young ladies that made it all happen. Its always the right number, we had exactly 5 attend.
Chonga


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Ride report for Norman W. Ewert: (by Cabbie)

I'm always amazed at how the Patriot Guard works. Often times it's just the right number to make a mission right. This was true in this case. When I arrived at Willamette National Cemetery, Sparky was the only one there. I started thinking after awhile that we could pull it off with just the two of us. Then Chonga, who was supposed to work today, rolled in. As time was getting close, I felt we could do a three bike escort to the shelter when Lynn rolled in, abandoning his garage sale. Just as we were moving the bikes into place in front of the coach, in rolled Steve. We had a missing man!

This was an unusual funeral as Mr. Ewert, who was just a few weeks short of his 90th birthday, passed away alone with no family. We became his surrogate family. Rather than a flag line, we all stood at attention and saluted as the honor guard passed with the urn ark. We then sat in the shelter as military honors were rendered. I received the flag and the three shell casings from the honor guard. Father Larry Hansen said some inspiring words and said prayers. I then felt obligated to stand and say a few words for Mr. Ewert.

Just before the services I found out from Ken, of WNC, that Mr. Ewert had been awarded the Combat Medic's Badge and Purple Heart in WW2 in North Africa and Europe. To earn a CMB, a medic has to spend a certain amount of time under fire. Also receiving a Purple Heart means he was wounded at one point in combat. To me, combat medics are the greatest heroes of any armed conflict. They run around, under horrendous fire, without a care for their own safety, trying to save the lives of their wounded comrades. This man was a true hero.

I gave the three shell casings to Mindy from Lincoln Memorial Gardens for arranging everything so this veteran could have a proper burial with the honors due to him. She has a profound sense of duty when it comes to honoring those who have served our nation. This was all donated by Lincoln including the beautiful urn ark that Mr Ewert's cremains urn was in. Thank you Mindy for all you do.

I have possession of the flag and will determine, with some help, what will be the best thing to do with it to honor this hero. It currently has a place of honor on my mantle.

Cabbie

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I posted this after Cabbie's report.

Some of these missions really get to you. This was one of them. To sit in the family chairs changes all the equations in what we do. Our Sky Pilot, Mr. Hansen , was more than eloquent as he addressed us as kindred souls doing the right thing for this veteran, no matter the circumstances of how it came to be that we were now his surrogate family, and proudly so. Each of us, myself, Nick, Sparky, Steve, and Lynn were particularly moved by this Mission, I'm sure. Its always the right number. R.I.P Norman, it was an honor to be part of your services today. Well done to the Military folks and the cemetery staff from both Lincoln Memorial and WNC. Thanks to all that listened to "that little voice" this morning and attended this Mission, making it the tribute it deserved to be.
Thank God for sunglasses.
Chonga

LinK to Completed Mission thread:
http://www.patriotguard.org/Forums/tabid/61/postid/961237/view/topic/Default.aspx 

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