Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Clear Lake Township Cemetery
Ventura, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Iowa
Friday, May 28, 2010
Article and Photograph by Deb Micklay, Globe Gazette

Avenue of Flags Salutes Forgotten Veterans

VENTURA ó Jim SHINN believes all war veterans should be honored.

So, when he noticed the large number of veteran graves at the small Clear Lake Township Cemetery in Ventura, he got to work.

On Monday, Shinn of Mason City will unveil the Avenue of the Flags, a 27-flag salute created along the lone road that intersects the cemetery, located immediately south of Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Of the 27 Ventura veterans, the remains of six never returned home, he said. Some of their markers say "In Memory Of ..." or have no stone.

"Most of the servicemen killed in action are buried where they fell in New Guinea, Germany, or lost in the Atlantic Ocean," SHINN, 70, said.

He knows all their histories, he said. Men like Joseph ZEIGER, a Russian immigrant who died while serving the U.S. Navy in World War II; or Arnold COOLEY, a World War II soldier who died on Christmas Eve. A cross and citation will mark flags honoring those killed in action.

Funds to help purchase the needed materials came from the John K. and Luise V. HANSON Foundation, the Mason City Veterans Memorial Association, Clear Lake Bank and Trust and Sharon (KASTER) SHINN, wife of Jim. She has many relatives buried in the cemetery. The Clear Lake Township Cemetery board agreed to have the flags erected.

No military group visits this cemetery on Memorial Day, he said. He will erect the poles early Monday and take them down that evening.

"We do what we can here to recognize them," SHINN said. "Everyone gets a flag."

"Each died for it. Each one should get one. Itís not just a piece of cloth."

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011


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