• Last modified 359 days ago (June 1, 2023)


Gold Star marker unveiled

Monday’s Memorial Day service at Pilsen included an unveiling of a Gold Star marker to honor family members of deceased veterans buried at St. John Nepomucene Cemetery.

The marker came about after a couple in Tennessee heard the story of Father Emil Kapaun on PBS. They contacted Garden Club of America, which arranged with Suburban Garden Club of Wichita, Kansas Associated Garden Club, and Pilsen Cemetery District to erect the marker.

It is the 12th such marker the couple has sponsored.

Fr. Kapaun’s nephew, Ray Kapaun, was present for the ceremony, along with Nanette and Amie Unruh of Marion, who lost a son and brother in Iraq in 2004.

They and other family members in the audience each received a long-stemmed yellow rose.

Cemetery custodian William Benda read the names of veterans buried at Pilsen. He reported the numbers of soldiers killed in all American-involved wars, from the War of Independence to the present.

At least 1.4 million have died and 1.5 million were wounded.

As far back as World War II, Garden Clubs of America supplied flags and banners with blue stars for people to display in their homes if a family member was serving in the armed forces. A gold-star flag replaced the blue star when a member was killed.

Cemetery Gold Star markers began being placed in 2015.

Last modified June 1, 2023