Robert Taunt: Remember heroes of the War Eagle

Robert Taunt: Remember heroes of the War Eagle


Remember heroes of the War Eagle

Friday, May 15, will mark 150 years since the steamer War Eagle caught fire and burned, along with most of the waterfront north of Riverside Park.

The War Eagle was a popular boat and made her home port in La Crosse and had a long life of 16 years.

But why remember this disaster? We should remember human struggle, loss and heroism in our community; it’s what defines us.

Captain Cushing and his crew were recognized heroes in preventing any more than five casualties, during some dramatic rescues. But the African-American barber of the boat, Felix Spiller, never received recognition for his attempt to save a young woman from drowning. He was the only crew member to give his life for another. The bones of an elderly gentleman were never found. Those things are worth remembering.

We should also realize that the fire moved forever the front door of the city, from the river to the railroad terminal in town. The fire story is one of the key events that has shaped our history.

Although a full event has been canceled for this year, there will be a quiet memorial to remember at noon Friday, May 15, at the north end of Riverside Park. Some things are worth remembering, even 150 years later.

Robert Taunt, La Crosse

Remember children during pandemic

When we consider all the heroes of this coronavirus nightmare (the list begins with nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers and all those who assist them), let us not forget that children who are sequestered in a home where healthy food is not available and they are in physical or psychological danger are heroes in their own right.

I’m referring to tragedies that are occurring throughout America and beyond.

Rose White, La Crosse

We need primary in race for Congress

If you live in the 3rd Congressional District (most of western Wisconsin), please help get Dr. Mark Neumann on the ballot against Ron Kind in the Democratic primary.

Neumann, a retired pediatrician, is running on a platform of Medicare for All and supporting the Green New Deal, both of which Kind opposes.

In order to get on the ballot, Neumann needs 1,000 valid signatures by the end of May. His campaign website,, has a link to have a copy of the nomination papers mailed to you. Whether you intend to vote for Neumann in August, getting a second name on the ballot ensures that there’s a robust debate on these issues.

Kevin Hundt, La Crosse


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