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University of Iowa News Release

 

May 25, 2007

UI To Honor Iowans Killed In Iraq And Afghanistan, All Fallen Veterans May 30

The Old Capitol bell on the University of Iowa Pentacrest will toll 59 times at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, to commemorate the number of Iowans who have died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and to honor all those who have given their lives in previous wars throughout American history.

The decision to ring the bell was made after the UI Veterans Association sent a letter to UI Interim President Gary Fethke requesting a Memorial Day tribute for the 59 men and women.

The veterans group asked that the commemoration take place on Wednesday rather than Monday, May 28, because May 30 was the traditional Memorial Day observance from 1868 to 1971, when Congress passed the National Holiday Act creating a three-day weekend for federal holidays.

In a letter to Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Fethke said the bell tolling will be a most worthy tribute, and the UI is pleased to honor the request.

"We thought you would appreciate knowing of this tribute since your first Executive Order as Governor called for both the U.S. and state of Iowa flags to be flown at half staff throughout the state to honor fallen Iowa soldiers," Fethke wrote.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-384-0070, joe-nugent@uiowa.edu; Program: Norine Zamastil, 319-335-3714, norine-zamastil@uiowa.edu. Writer: Joe Nugent