Legacies remembered, heroes honored in Fonda, IA - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Legacies remembered, heroes honored in Fonda, IA


FONDA, IA (KTIV) - Land of the free, home of the brave, that's how many describe America.

And, those freedoms are protected by our military men and women.

Saturday, a few of those who've lost their lives to keep ours safe were honored.

SSgt LeRoy Webster, Sgt Clinton Kelly, Captain Patrick Norals, Navy Seal Marc Lee, and Navy Seal Jon T. Tumilson put their lives on the line defending our freedom.

Their families arrived in Fonda, Iowa for a patriotic gesture, including American Legion riders, flags blowing in the breeze, and taps playing quietly in the background.

"This represents the grief and the sacrifice of thousands of families across the country, and it comes home here, " Rep. Steve King said. 

The emotions were high as speakers recounted details of war and the lives lost.

Lee was one of the men recognized for his bravery. Lee was the first Navy Seal officer to be killed in Iraq. His mother spoke about his journey and how her son's legacy will always live on.

"I very much feel pride for Marc for the sacrifice that he made," Debbie Lee, Marc Lee's mother, said.

She read the last letter their family received from his while he was overseas.

"The ending letter says: to my family and friends, do me a favor, pass on the kindness, the love, the precious gift of human life. Literally, that letter has impacted million and millions of lives around the world," Lee said.

And, the Freedom Quilters, wanted to show their appreciation for Lee's son and all of the families whose loved ones have died serving our country.

"I take the fabric and I incorporate it and make it into a story, so that these families can have their quilt and if someone wants to look at their quilt, it tells a story about their son, or their spouse, or their dad," Freedom Quilts Founder Betty Nielsen said.

The cloths that have been woven together by Betty and her team will be a lasting memory for those who receive them

"It goes deep to the heart to know that there are people out here, as Marc said in his letter, to do random acts of kindness. She didn't know Marc, hadn't read his letter when she started doing this. But, that's the very thing she's doing to honor these families," Debbie Lee said

"The quilt means the world to me. It has all the things that Clint loved. I'm putting it on a wall. I want it to be as nice as it looks now in the future," Deb Kelly, Sgt Clinton Kelly's mother, said.

And, these quilts will be a permanent reminder to these families that their loved ones will never be forgotten.

Freedom Quilts is a non-profit organization that's always looking for help. If you want to get involved, you can find out more on their website

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