Nelson Has Column Published in Times-News on Veterans Day

Tom Nelson, an associate professor of communications, had a column published in the Nov. 11 edition of the (Burlington, N.C.) Times-News on his annual ritual of visiting the grave of Staff Sgt. Russell Ketner. Ketner died May 29, 1944, in battle near Saipan, one of the bloodiest engagements between the United States and Japan during World War II.

But the headstone reads "Siapan Island."

"Ketner died in a place so remote, so exotic, so removed from America that someone in the chain of events used an alternate spelling of it. It was this tick of spelling that drew me to the grave," Nelson said of his first visit to the Pine Hill Cemetery when he first moved to the area. "I thought then and now how fate snatches Americans like Ketner to die in very foreign places, places we can hardly say or spell, for ideals not at all foreign to those who believe in democracy."

The full article is not available online.


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