VFW to dedicate Kapaun plaque

? Group will discuss county-wide monument.

The bronze plaque honoring Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Emil Kapaun of Pilsen will be formally dedicated at 10 a.m. July 11. It already has been added to the VFW?s monument honoring 66 county residents killed in action during foreign wars. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

VFW Post 6958, Marion, is inviting the public?especially military veterans?to witness the dedication of a bronze plaque recog?nizing Capt. Chaplain Father Emil Kapaun, the only serviceman in Marion County ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation?s highest military honor.

The dedication will begin at 10 a.m. July 11 at the VFW Post 6958 home, 420 W. Santa Fe St.

Kapaun was a Roman Catholic priest and U.S. Army chaplain who died as a prisoner of war in the Korean War.

?Our VFW just wanted to do something for his recognition, so we got a bronze plaque and put it on the (Killed In Action) memorial in front of our building,? said Warren Kreutziger, post commander.

After verbal presentations by VFW representatives, people from Kapaun?s hometown of Pilsen and other speakers, those in attendance will be invited into the Post home to hear about the campaign to develop a county-wide memorial honoring veterans of all military branches and conflicts of war, both past and present.

The goal is to develop a visible memorial monument to be erected at Marion County Park & Lake in a location designated by the Marion County Board of Commissioners.

According to Kreutziger, the Post is ?wanting everyone?s ideas and input as to what kind, how it should be designed and who should do the building.?

He added, ??For a number of years there?s been several different veterans who have been wanting to do a county-wide memorial. It was just never followed through and we didn?t have a place to do that.

?This spring, the county commissioners designated a place at the Marion County Lake for a countywide memorial. Now that we have a place to do it, we just need some input for it.?

For more information about the dedication event or the monument project, Kreutziger can be reached at 620-382-6125 or at warren?kreutziger@yahoo.com.

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