Congressman Loebsack Speaks at Sunday Memorial Day Observance

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PELLA, Iowa -- Members of the Pella Community gathered on Sunday to honor those who have served in the U.S. Military and passed on.

A list of names was read of those who had served this country from the Pella area and had passed on during the last 12 months.

The service also recognized those who served in Iraq-Afghanistan, the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, World War II, and those who may have had family in World War I and even the Civil War.

The Memorial Day Service was held on Sunday as a way to get more people to attend.

"We have a very strong commitment to our men and women who have served," said Myron Linn of Van Veen/Van Heemert American Legion Post #89.

The service was sponsored by the Legion and the VFW Post 5242.

"Community support is shown by the number of people who've shown up here today," Linn added.

Colonel Scott Visser, who retired from the Iowa National Guard after a long career serving this country, said that many people don't appreciate what the day is all about. He quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying "Any nation who does not honor its heroes does not long endure."

"Some see Memorial Day as just another day off, or a day to go to the mall," said Visser. "Once someone asked some school kids what Memorial Day is all about, they said it was day the pool opened."

Visser said there is honor and comradery in service. He said he never looked at his service as he "had to go back," but that he wanted to service with those who meant a lot to him.

U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack, who serves Iowa's Second Congressional District, spoke of his appreciation for those who have worn the military uniform and paid the ultimate price. He also spoke of the current ISIS march to take over Iraq.

In an interview before the event, Loebsack said he thinks ISIS can be defeated.

"If there's anything like that boots on the ground the President needs to come to Congress to get authorization," said Loebsack. "I don't believe we should be putting boots on the ground myself."