These messages were part of a Memorial Day 2010 thread at the Huffington Post, located at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/memorial-day-poe...
KathyBellant 03:26 AM on 5/31/2010
I don't have a poem, just a remembrance of someone that died long before I was born. Louis LaValla was my great uncle. He died at Guadalcanal. Uncle Louis would never get married, never have kids as he died in his early twenties. Although I never got to meet him, I'm so proud of him. I have a 22 yr old son now and life has only begun for him. I can't imagine it stopping now. I salute all our military personnel. Thank you.
ThruSpaceAndTime 06:49 AM on 5/31/2010
I pause in sincere remembrance of Louis LaValla, human being...soldier. His flesh is gone but in your words, maybe, perhaps, in that precious 22 yr old, he carries on. The poetry is the mood and not necessarily the structure (for me, I am not a critic or a poet, but I appreciate when humans are forthcoming. I gain from such disclosure).
KathyBellant 08:35 AM on 5/31/2010
Thank you, Now two people have talked about him, he does carry on.
I did a little more research. According to this sitehttp://www.homeofheroes.com/verify/recipients_l.html
Louis A. LaValla was awarded the Silver Star for his service in WW II.
According to Ancestry.com's military records, which do not contain a date of death:
Louis A Lavalla
Cemetery Name: Fort McKinley, (Permanent Cemetery), Manila, Philippine Islands
Grave number: d 14 191
Disposition: According to next of kin
Service Branch: Army
Rank: Private First Class
Service Number: 17049585
Based on Ms. Bellant's belief he was in his early 20's, he may be this child in the 1920 Census BUT THIS IS TENTATIVE as I don't know his parents names or location -- this could be a different Louis LaValla:
Louis Elexex LaValla, nine-month-old son of John A. and Georgiana in Minnesota (so born around late summer, 1919).
French Canadian heritage. Three stepsiblings, three full siblings: Viola Bernadette, Lawrence John, Leone Laura. Parents are farmers.
I'm assuming "Elexex" was anglicized to "Alexus," (or perhaps the enumerator was guessing at the spelling. I found the same little boy in the 1930 Census, but there, the enumerator spells his name "Lewis A. LaValla" and he has new siblings. They are still in Minnesota:
John A Lavalla 38 (father)
Georgiene Lavalla 40 (mother)
Viola B Lavalla 16
Lawerence T Lavalla 14
Leone L Lavalla 13
Lewis A Lavalla 11
Clifford G Lavalla 9
Clutis V Lavalla 7 (the correct spelling is Cletus or Cletis)
Hazel M Lavalla 5
Luverne Lavalla 2 years, 10 months in April 1930
Evangline Lavalla ten months old in April 1930 (probably Evangeline is correct spelling)
AGAIN THIS MINNESOTA BOY COULD BE A DIFFERENT LOUIS A. LaVALLA other than the young man who died at Guadalcanal, but he is the only Louis LaValla I could locate who is the right age. The 1940 Census is not yet available as I write this.