Seeking Rutherford photoBy BERT AND THEA EGGEN,
To the Editor:
This may be a strange request, but I hope that you will help me.
As you maybe well know, there is an American war cemetery in Margraten (Netherlands ) where 8,301 American soldiers were buried directly after the end of World War II.
Because of the costs, the Dutch government asked Dutch families if they were willing to adopt and maintain a grave by putting flowers on it and do prayers for the soldier.
In May 1946, my dad adopted the grave of Earl Jenkins. He was from Mississippi. In 2007, my wife and I adopted the grave of John N. Rutherford. He was also a soldier from Mississippi.
That gave us a special bond with your state.
Every year on Memorial Day, there will be put two little flags on each grave. A little Dutch flag and a little American flag to honor the heroes who liberated our country.
In 2013, we had contact with the Mississippian Veterans organization and asked them if it would be possible to provide us with little Mississippian flags so that we could place an extra flag on the graves of the soldiers from Mississippi.
In August 2013, we got an invitation from your Governor Phil Bryant and we were invited in the Capitol in Jackson where in a special ceremony, we got 100 little flags from Mississippi handed over by your Governor.
Since then, we put a little flag from Mississippi on the 100 graves of the soldiers from Mississippi during the Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery in Margraten.
For a couple of years, there is an organization, called Faces of Margraten. That organization asks the adopters if they have a photo of “their” soldier. During the Memorial Day commemoration, there will a photo of that soldier on his grave.
That is a wonderful happening and, at this moment, there are nearly 6,000 photos available.
However, I didn’t succeed in getting a photo of John Rutherford.
I have tried by joining the Facebook Group “What is Happening in Kosciusko and Attala County.” There were a lot of reactions, but unfortunately no photo of John.
I have had a lot of cooperation from your Mayor, Jimmy Cockroft and Ann Breedlove, who advised me to write to your paper.
I have attached two documents with all the known facts about John N. Rutherford.
I hope you will help us,
Bert and Thea Eggen