Veterans Day is November 11th, a time to honor and recognize the important contributions of the millions of our citizens whose military service had a profound effect on history, especially our own that live in Northeast Iowa.
One particular area veteran, Norbert Kapler served with the 8th Armored Division in World War II as a Technical Sergeant. Shortly after Norbert and Louise were married in 1942, Norbert was called to war on of all days, Louise’s birthday of all days. Norbert served his country for three years, and was one of the lucky one’s to come home to farm and raise their daughter, Laurie. Norbert and the late Louise farmed near Spillville for many years. Now, Norbert is a member of the Clarence Bily Post Unit #167 of the American Legion Auxiliary and is proud to have served his country.
To understand how grateful they are to have come home to our little slice on heaven you need to know what they have gone through. Norbert’s group, the 8th Armored Division, was an armored division of the United States Army that served in World War II. The division was sometimes referred to as “Tornado” which was its wartime tactical call sign. There is even a book written about the division called, “Tornado! The Story of the 8th Armored Division,” written by the commanding officer, Major General John M. Devine and is still available. After training at Tidworth, England, the Armored Division landed in France early January of 1945. Between April 12th and the 17th of that year they moved into central Germany and liberated Halberstadt-Zwieberge, a subcamp of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The division then shifted south to Walfenbuttel, taking on resistance in that area, and continued south, clearing the Harz Mountain region. That was its last combat activity in the war. On April 23rd the division went on occupation duty in the Harz Mountain area following VE day. In late May the division was ordered to Czechoslovakia to assist in operating displaced persons camps. The division was inactivated November 14, 1945.
To veterans throughout American history, the Stars and Stripes have served as a symbol of their service and as a continuing testimony that their service was worthwhile.
A salute goes out to all the men and women who have or are serving in the military today and everyday! Thank you! This is a special time to remember, honor and recognize the important contributions of the millions of our citizens whose military service had a profound effect on history, especially our own that live in Northeast Iowa. I would like to with a Happy Veterans Day to all who serve or have served. We remember and acknowledge the role you play or played for our freedom!