Kathryn (Leedom) Ives Genealogy
Honoring Champlin Shores veterans of World War II
Mother passed away on 11 Jun 2008, just nine months after this ceremony. She was very pleased with the outing, even more pleased that I could join her for it. She spoke often of the event, saying once, "It was nice to be remembered."
Marcia Lubbers Leedom
Enlisted 15 Jul 1944 - Discharged 21 Jan 1946
Served 592nd AAF Base Unit
Women's Army Corps
She will always be remembered...
When mother first moved to her new apartment in Sep 2007 the staff there was delighted to learn that she was a World War II veteran. Plans had been underway for many weeks to honor residents who had been veterans. Only two weeks after mother moved in she and ten other veterans were on a shuttle bus bound for the St. Paul capitol grounds.
The day of the ceremony was grey but not cold or windy. The rain of the previous day had stopped and weather for the ten o'clock ceremony was comfortable. I was able to take off work for a few hours that morning and made the short drive in time to meet mother as she stepped off the bus.
The small group of veterans, some escorted by the Patriot Guard,
walked to the front of the memorial.
A representative of the Department of Veteran's Affairs gave a short speech,
honoring and thanking them all for their service to their country.
Listening to the speech, trying not to cry...
Photo by Bob Forder
Each person was called by name to step forward and receive their medal.
From the archives of the Champlin-Dayton Press - News:
Champlin WWII veterans visit memorial, recall their service
"It made me feel proud. I think about all of us who served and feel proud about our service," said Champlin resident Alex Bartimo, a World War II veteran.
"It was overwhelming, very emotional," said fellow veteran and Champlin resident Gerald Duchaine.
In what may be have been a once in a lifetime opportunity, a group of 11 World War II veterans from all branches of the military boarded a bus from Champlin Shores on Sept. 19 and set forth to view the World War II Memorial in St. Paul.
It was time for them to remember, and to be recognized, for their service.
"It really was an honor for us," said Duchaine.
The official dedication of the Minnesota World War II Memorial originally took place in early June 2007. However, due to transportation issues, those veterans wishing to participate from Champlin Shores were unable to attend. In the months following, the coordination of efforts among several individuals made it possible for this group of veterans to receive an exclusive trip to the memorial.
According to Janet Eide, life engagement coordinator at Champlin Shores, the office of Rep. Denise Dittrich contacted her to determine if they would like to make a trip to the memorial.
"I was very excited at the idea," said Eide.
To solve the transportation issue, the Champlin American Legion Auxiliary women donated the funds for the bus.
"It was a great gift," she said, referring to the donation for the bus.
"I feel special and honored that I get to talk to the veterans each day. It is important that we continue to recognize and remember their service," Eide stated.
During World War II, more than 326,000 Minnesotans served in the armed forces for the United States. More than 6,000 gave their lives. The Minnesota World War II Memorial was designed to "bring the voices of Minnesota veterans to the heart of the State Capitol by expressing their journey through the second world war." A total of 10 panels along the walkway remind those visiting of the different aspects of war.
Last updated 17 Aug 2008
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