Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Military Week 2014 - Wednesday - Robert Bruce Reifsnider

Robert Bruce Reifsnider
August 22, 1896 - October 4, 1918
Emmitsburg Memorial Cemetery
Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland

I recently explored a new (to me) cemetery and as I was leaving, I noticed this headstone. I recognized the name as being on the World War I Memorial in Memorial Park in Frederick, Maryland.

I was able to find an article in the local paper about his death. We take for granted today the ability to find out about events around the world in seconds. Private Reifsnider's parents had to wait three months to find out about their son's death.

Gettysburg Times
Gettysburg, PA
January 14, 1919

And Parents just now Receive Official Notification.

     Two months ago the name of Robert Bruce Reifsnider, Smithsburg, Md., appeared in the overseas' casualty list. He had died of disease on October 4, according to the report.
     At Emmitsburg Mr. and Mrs. Kester Reifsnider sent a son, Robert Bruce Reifsnider, away to war last September a year ago and when they read the name of Robert Bruce Reifsnider, Smithsburg, in the casualty list they became very much alarmed. Mrs. Reifsnider felt that possibly the War Department had made some mistake and that it was her son who had died in France of disease.
     So worried did the mother become that she made inquiries at Smithsburg about a certain Robert Bruce Reifsnider who, according to the casualty list, had died of disease. She was told at Smithsburg that there was no such person by that name who had gone to war from there. And up until a few days ago Mr. and Mrs. Reifsnider have been very deeply concerned about their son.
     Friday they received a telegram from the War Department which stated that their son, Robert Bruce Reifsnider, had died in France on October 4 of bronchial pneumonia.
     The last heard from him was some time in September. At that time he said he was well and happy.
     Young Reifsnider was 22 years old. He trained at Anniston, Ala., and embarked for France during the middle of the summer.

My first thought was how sad for the parents to be have wonder and wait to find out that their son had made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.


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