Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
On Veterans Day, a new memorial was dedicated to Iowans who've served their country.
The Linn County Veterans Affairs Commission dedicated a veterans memorial.
It was a bittersweet ceremony for veterans.
In a room full of vets, just one received a Veterans Day standing ovation.
During World War II Cliff Haverkamp became a prisoner of war when he was captured by German forces.
"We weren't really too mistreated but we didn't get much to eat," said Haverkamp, who served in the Air Force. "I was there about 21 months. We were liberated by Patton's army."
Veterans of all branches of the armed services were honored Sunday when the Linn County Veterans Affairs Commission dedicated a memorial to those who've served our country.
"It's a day to honor and remember those who served, those who sacrifice, those who were wounded, those who died, and those who we're still blessed to have with us today," said Steven Feldmann, Brigadier General.
The memorial has been a work in process since before the floods of 2008.
It recognizes past, present, and future veterans of Linn County.
"While that flag flies behind me, we must never forget, nor permit others to forget, the service and sacrifice of America's veterans who are willing to respond to the call of duty," said Feldmann.
While the ceremony was a celebration, for Haverkamp and many other veterans it was bittersweet as they remembered those who they promised to never forget.
"It makes me think about all the buddies I've lost in the past," said Haverkamp.
"It's really special that they put aside a day for those people, especially all those people who can't be here anymore," said Morgan Berns, Iraq Army Veteran.
Now, there's a county memorial for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and for those who made it home.
The memorial is located outside the Linn County Community Services Building.
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive.More >>
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive, and cheered as he rolled close.More >>
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