custerBy JD LONG

News-Herald Staff Writer

NEW RUMLEY – On a glorious crystal blue day flanked by “General Custer” and “President Lincoln,” Leroy VanHorne, secretary of The Custer Memorial Association (CMA), opened Saturday’s festivities with a thought: He stressed the sadness of men who don’t come home from war, or the ones who do who are not revered “like they should be.”

Joining the service in 1966, VanHorne was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky only to be sent home 10 days later for failing his physical.

“Some of my friends who went that day never made it home. It gives you a different feeling in life.” VanHorne reminded the enthusiastic crowd of not only the people who have made the history books, “but those around us who have gone and fought and served our country. Because without that we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have.”

General Custer, who was accused of being a braggart by some historians, was portrayed by Rick Williams, who tossed one for the crowd by saying, “I’ll try to keep my self esteem reigned in.”

Williams, a certified artillerist, has portrayed General Custer for eight years. He called it a “loaded question” when asked what it was like to portray the man.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to portray a significant character in military history.”

The theme of this year’s event was “1864 – Generalship: The Art of Command” and dealt with General Custer’s role in the last year of the Civil War.

You can read more about Custer and Lincoln’s visit in the next edition of the News-Herald