Never forget our veterans

To the editor:

This is the 100th anniversary of World War I and Des Moines Glendale Cemetery is honoring the date by restoring Iowa’s largest veterans cemetery to steam-clean the 3,300 markers of decades of dirt.

Iowa’s leader of the American Legion, Adjutant John Derner, and the leader of Iowa’s Veterans of Foreign Wars, Adjutant Quartermaster Jerry Black hope all citizens will support and donate to this much-needed restoration. All who donate will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

This will be a complete restoration including replacing broken markers and missing markers.

The public is invited to see this huge veterans cemetery which rests on 37 acres in Glendale at 4909 University (284-6320). Stop at the entrance for a map as the 37 acres is just a mile away.

If these marble markers are not steam-cleaned over a period of time when it rains, an acid is created that will erode the lettering, as they become “faceless,” as in several Iowa cemeteries.

A number of young boys resting here were killed in France and buried there, but because of parents’ request they were exhumed and brought here.

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

This World War 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 lost forever and not preserved for the next generation. Again all who donate will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Our address is Glendale Cemetery, 4909 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311.

Gerald LaBlanc

Director of restoration, Glendale Cemetery

Des Moines