Cedar Rapids Family Honors Vet in New Memorial

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By KCRG Intern

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - On Wednesday, a Cedar Rapids family remembered a loved one who died during World War II.

The Shimek family raised eight children in Cedar Rapids, and five of the boys served in World War II. The only one who didn’t come home was Army Pvt. John Shimek.

Shimek, a Purple Heart recipient, was killed while serving in the Netherlands with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. He’s buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery in the Dutch village of Margraten.

Over Memorial Day weekend, though, the Shimek family decided to honor him closer to home. They had his name engraved on a memorial that’s been placed at the Czech National Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.

"It's just important to have a stone here for John because he is buried in Europe, and to have a stone here to support him," said Jan Borst, Shimek’s niece.

Bob Shimek was not old enough to serve in World War II. Now 86, he got to see his brother’s memorial placed in the Cedar Rapids cemetery.

Frank Edmunds, a spokesman with the Czech National Cemetery, said the spot was “ the last exisiting spot, unless they decide to open another section” in the memorial for World War II Veterans.

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