‘On Behalf of a Grateful Nation’

Memorial Day cemetery walks planned for Traer

Bill Kvidera's tombstone located at St. Paul Catholic Cemetery in Traer. Originally it was thought that four men from Tama County were killed at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Kvidera was the only one actually killed on December 7, 1941. SUBMITTED PHOTO

In 1923, Traer celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. One focal point of the town celebration was the dedication of the “Legion Arch” which was built at Taylor Park as a memorial to the seven men from Traer that died during the Great War (1914-1918).

The seven men include Edward Kubik, Clair Finch, George Wieben, Fred Pippert, William McTurk, Roy Pearce and Edgar McCord and they are listed on an honor roll located by the Arch.

In 2023, Traer is now celebrating its sesquicentennial. A cemetery walk entitled “On Behalf of a Grateful Nation” is set for Monday, Memorial Day, May 29. The program will begin with an open house of the updated military display at the Traer Historical Museum. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

At 8 a.m., participants will then trek to West Union, Buckingham, and St. Paul Catholic cemeteries with a social hour to follow at the Traer Historical Museum hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary, Kubik-Finch Unit No. 142 in Traer.

The graves of the following 15 veterans will be noted:

West Union Cemetery

-Clair E. Finch (1898-1918)

-George J. Wieben (1893-1918)

Buckingham Cemetery

-Lynus Nelsen Briggs (1923-1943)

-Clarence L. Janssen (1920-1945)

-Vernon A. Nation (1922-1945)

-John McCornack Currell (1916-1945)

-Robert Paul Payne (1943-1968)

-Hugh Wallace Breakenridge (1919-1945)

-Russell W. Nation (1914-1942)

-Norman “Skip” Joens (1931-1953)

-Gerald A. Claussen (1931-1956)

-William E. Ortman (1952-1972).

St. Paul Catholic Cemetery

-William L. Kvidera (1919-1941)

-David K. Pulkrabek (1924-1945)

-John G. Kopriva (1948-1969).

Organizers are hoping to obtain more information about each Veteran and their family. If you know any of these Veterans or their families, please contact Traer’s Sesquicentennial Committee at traer150years@gmail.com to share further information.