Representative Young Tours Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines

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Rep. David Young at Glendale CemeteryDES MOINES, Iowa – Gerald La Blanc is an 86-year-old Korean War veteran, and since 1990, he’s raised the money necessary to maintain the veteran grave markers at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

“Each of these veteran markers here is a window to the past,” he said. “And each one tells a story. And it is very important that we preserve these markers for future generations.”

But La Blanc worries his efforts will fade when his life eventually comes to an end, and so he asked Representative David Young (R-Van Meter) for some help. On Friday, the two toured Glendale Cemetery, as La Blanc shared the rich history of the grave site with the congressman. As the original cemetery for World War II veterans in Iowa, La Blanc says its crucial the history be maintained. Every eight or so years, the markers must be steam-cleaned in order for the wording on the stone to remain intact. Otherwise, rain, dust, and tree sap will cause the text to erode away. The cost is roughly $15,000, and Rep. Young says he’s happy to help raise it.

“You want to use your name and your influence for good, and so I’ve committed to Gerald to help raise the necessary funds for the next steam-cleaning of these graves, and these markers,” he said. “And he’s going to hold me to it. You know, he’s 86 years old, and he’s going to be around in 5 years when we do this again.”

 

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