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New plaque to be dedicated to honor Mishawaka men who died during World War I

New plaque to be dedicated to honor Mishawaka men who died during World War I. // WSBT 22 photo

Veterans Day is all about honoring the service and sacrifice all of America’s veterans have made.

Mishawaka will honor solders who haven’t had any official recognition in 100 years on Sunday.

The city is unveiling and dedicating a new plaque.

It’s significant because it’s the first official memorial for 33 men from Mishawaka who died during World War I.

As the Centennial of Armistice Day approaches, it’s time for that void in City Hall to be filled.

Helmets like the one shown in the video above were likely worn by men from Mishawaka during the Great War – World War I.

“It’s all scraped and pumped and dented and who knows what kind of historical events this has been witness to,” said Pete DeKever, Mishawaka historian.

It’s a physical, tangible reminder of the sacrifice those men made more than 100-years-ago. But their sacrifice is not officially memorialized in the city.

City Hall has plaques for World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.

Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood says this new plaque for World War I means a lot for the city.

“World War I was a glaring hole and so you know I don’t know why it had not been done before now, but we want to fix it now,” said Wood.

DeKever says it was an oversight that needed to be corrected.

We need to remember Mishawaka’s efforts during the Great War.

“Most of us have never even met a World War I veteran and it’s important not to let that war and the service of those men just totally recede into the past," said DeKever. "For a long time that has been our only memorial really specifically to World War I is this picture hanging in the Meijer store. And now the city has really done a great job of creating a plaque that will permanently honor those men who ultimately sacrificed for our freedom, for democracy. This is the month of Thanksgiving and when we approach this centennial anniversary of the end of World War I and Veterans Day, it’s an opportunity for us to be thankful that those men were willing to serve their country."

The public plaque dedication is happening Sunday at 4 p.m.

Earlier on Sunday morning, St. Joseph Church is hosting a special ceremony outside. It starts at 11 a.m. the exact time, day and month fighting stopped in 1918.

The event will happen outside and include a name reading, solemn bell tolling, prayer and patriotic song. Mass starts at 11:15.

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