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Courbat, Civil War soldiers honored at Veterans Memorial Hall ceremony Friday

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - 11/12/2022

Nov. 12—WATERLOO — Five Civil War veterans and two others were honored at Veterans Memorial Hall on Friday, while the sacrifices of those who served in all American conflicts were also remembered.

Charles Becker, Russel Dewey, Charles Mullan, John Call and William Smith had different rooms named after them during the Veterans Day event. Along with the Civil War soldiers, World War II veteran Marcia Courbat had the kitchen, or canteen, dedicated in her honor. Hazel Gilbert, a Gold Star mother, was also honored.

During World War II, Courbat served in the Army Medical Corps and founded the Military Walk of Fame at Veterans Memorial Hall. She died last year at the age of 98.

Gilbert, who is also deceased, was heavily involved in veteran's causes in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. A room at the hall was previously named for her. Women whose children died while on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or are missing in action are called Gold Star mothers.

Speakers for the event talked about the lives and service of the five Civil War veterans being honored. One of them was W. Frank McCaw from the Cedar Valley Civil War Roundtable in Denver. He told attendees about the 6th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment from Burlington, which fought at the Battle of Chattanooga and relieved a Confederate siege at Knoxville.

"Every veteran demonstrates the same qualities no matter the circumstances under which they serve," McCaw said. "We thank you veterans, each and every one of you."

The five men were members of the Grand Army of the Republic, a prominent fraternity of Union veterans, and played a role in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls community and the building of the hall.

The weekend also marks the 80th anniversary of when the five Sullivan brothers were killed at the Battle of Guadalcanal. Madison "Matt" Sullivan's 103rd birthday was on Tuesday.

Speaking on their sacrifice, Black Hawk County Supervisor Craig White spoke on the declining participation within the veteran's community in the Cedar Valley and the issue of veteran's suicides.

"Their famous quote was they 'stuck together,'" White said. "We're either going to stand together, or we're all going to fall together."

Following the speeches, a 21-gun salute was given and taps was played.


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