Two men work to mark the graves of Iowa war heroes

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 12:49 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - A pair of men are working to give fallen Iowa veterans a special honor years after their death.

Mike Rowley and Bob Niffenenegger apply for veteran stones for unmarked graves in Woodland Cemetery.

Any deceased veteran who was honorably discharged or died during active duty is eligible for the stone.

The pair sifted through 160-year’s worth of documents and spent hours researching information.

That includes newspaper articles, military along with family records, and more.

They say research for each stone takes an average of 3-and-a-half hours, but can take several days.

Mike and Bob researched 146-Iowa veterans in just the past year.

“We get response from families all the time,” Mike Rowley said. “They just can’t believe someone would want to put markers on their ancestors graves.”

“It just makes you feel good to recognize people who sacrifice so much of their lives for the families they left behind,” Bob Niffenenegger said.

Many of the veterans buried in the cemetery are from the War of 1812, The Spanish-American-War, World-War-One, and the Civil War.

See the original story on WOI’s website.

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