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Veterans project seeks to preserve World War I markers

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 10:45 a.m. CST

To the editor,

Newton is an important city in central Iowa where there are a number of National Guard members and strong interest in veteran affairs. I think your readers might be interested to know this is the 100th anniversary of World War I and Des Moines Glendale Cemetery is honoring the date by restoring the 3,300 aging markers in Iowa’s largest veterans cemetery.

The leader of Iowa’s American Legion, John Dernner, adjuntant and Iowa’s leader of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Jerry Black, adjuntant quartermaster hope the citizens will support and donate to our veterans restoration project.

This will be a complete restoration: steam cleaning the marble markers, replacing missing markers and replacing broken markers.

This veterans cemetery is, indeed, an all Iowa cemetery, in the fact, that among the 3,300 markers are veterans resting from all 99 counties.

The public is invited to this huge cemetery of 37 areas in Glendale Cemetery at 4909 University (515) 248-6320. Stop at the entrance for a map. The 37 acres are just a mile from the entrance.

A number of young Iowa boys killed in France were exhumed from their graves in France and brought here at the requests of their parents.

This cemetery is completely dependent on public donations. As of this date, only $9,672 has been donated while the low bid is $17,000. If we do not reach our goal, there will be many markers that will be lost forever and not preserved for future generations.

This is a very worthy veterans cause. All who donate will receive a tax deductible receipt. We hope the citizens will join we veterans to complete this much needed restoration.

Gerald LaBlanc

Des Moines

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