Remembered moments

1917. Winter winds scudded across the war-torn meadow, conjuring up images of lost youth. Cold gray fog only heightened the soldier’s uneasiness. It was hard for Erwin Klem to imagine the days of summer, a meadow divided with a clean running brook, trees without broken tops, all those shell-shocked amputations. Three interminable years had passed now, those scabby tattoos of war and death. Mired into it, pools of thick unctuous mud mangled his dreams, his imagination, his freedom. The soldier’s life was one unending misery.

Maschinengewehr 08 machine gun

After being chained to a machine gun like one and buried by an explosion, Erwin Klem survived World War I and lived out his days in Pacific County.

Rock wall

Erwin Klem was a master at building rock walls, but not so good with bricks. A German immigrant to Pacific County, World War I combat left him with psychological scars.

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