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One man’s souvenir, another man’s heirloom


Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

On August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb given the name of “Fat Man” was dropped over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. This was the second atomic bomb dropped on a major city in Japan in less than four days, as a measure of response to the Japanese attack on America at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Sixty-eight years later, there are many people today who remember what life was like back then, contending with the tension that created a dividing line between Americans and Japanese as two worlds collided on a global scale.

Orval Amdahl, a 94-year-old Lanesboro native and resident, remembers that day very well. He was on a ship out at sea waiting for clearance to hit the beaches of Nagasaki. Once the atomic bomb had been dropped on Nagasaki, “we were at sea until the geiger counters had cleared the area from fallout,” recalled Amdahl.

And then “the treaty had been signed in Tokyo before we got off the ship,” he said. As a member of the Third Battalion, Tenth Marines, Second Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Captain Orval Amdahl hit the beaches of Nagasaki on an LST (Landing Ship, Tank) with the rest of his unit.

The soldiers were told to leave their guns on the ship, since they did not want to pose a threat to the already shaken survivors of the atomic bomb. They wanted to merely occupy the area of Nagasaki.

Amdahl recalls walking the streets of Nagasaki and seeing eight story buildings turned to rubble and ash. In the beginning, only the Japanese men came out of what remained for housing at that time. The men kept their women and children hidden from the American soldiers, fearing what they might do to the Japanese. But, as there became a better understanding that the Americans were merely occupying the region, the residents of Nagasaki started to gain a sense of trust.

While in Nagasaki, Captain Amdahl was granted permission by his Lieutenant Colonel to enter any “Off-Limits” area and pass on and off the base at any time. And, while inspecting a Japanese naval shipping warehouse, Amdahl and his fellow soldiers found a huge pile of samurai swords. All of the soldiers grabbed a sword, resting safely in a scabbard. Most of the soldiers got their hands on a shiny metal scabbard and sword, but Amdahl climbed to the top of the pile and grabbed one samurai sword housed in a leather scabbard. And, with permission from the military, Amdahl was allowed to bring the samur .....
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Leather and Pipes ride to Lanesboro

Fri, Aug 30th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

The Leather and Pipes Motorcycle Run visited Lanesboro, Minn., on August 17, 2013 during this year’s sixth Annual fundraiser for the event with riders raising money for cancer awareness and to help find a cure. The Leather and Pipes Rally began ..... 
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Beneficial Tournament Tees up for 16th Year

Fri, Aug 16th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

By Barb Jeffers Saturday, August 10, 2013 brought a large group of people to the Lanesboro Golf Course for a tournament to remember those from the past and to support the future of others. The 16th Annual Burro Pride Golf Tournament raises money t ..... 
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Lanesboro’s Buffalo Bill Days 2013 was Ideal

Fri, Aug 9th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

By Barb Jeffers The weather for this year’s Buffalo Bill Days in Lanesboro, Minn. was perfect for a weekend spent with family and friends. Everyone attending the event was blessed with sunshine and smiles from friendly faces. Friday, August ..... 
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Summer Field Day held at Haz-Broy Farms

Fri, Jul 26th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

The Southeast Minnesota Forage Council (SMFC) along with the Midwest Forage Association held a Summer Field Day on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at Haz-Broy Farms near Lanesboro, Minn. Owners of the farm, Brian and Judy Hazel, were gracious enough to hos ..... 
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Surprise Sculpture appears in Lanesboro

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jun 14th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

Lanesboro, Minn. had its very first session of the Sculpture Surprise program for the summer on Tuesday, June 11. Several children excited to explore their own creativity met at the St. Mane Theatre in downtown Lanesboro. Directed by Courtney Ber ..... 
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Lanesboro celebrates annual Rhubarb Festival

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

By Mitchell Walbridge Town celebrations are pretty common around southeastern Minnesota, celebrating the founding of a town or highlights of the geographical area. What is uncommon, however, is when a festival is completely centered around a vegeta ..... 
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Lanesboro American Legion remembers American heroes

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 31st, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

On the morning of Memorial Day, communities, American Legion posts from around the country, and similar organizations commemorate the country’s military heroes who no longer with us. The community of Lanesboro, Minn., American Legion Post #40, the ..... 
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Mock Crash has an impact on Lanesboro students

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 17th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

By Mitchell Walbridge “Mothers and daughters have a very special bond. From the moment Sydney was born, she was a true light in my life. Every day was a wonderful day because Sydney was a part of it… Sydney had dreams of becoming a wife and mot ..... 
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