In honor of one who honored so many ...

Members of the Allamakee County Veterans Memorial Committee placed a memorial wreath (pictured at right in a photo taken by Standard Assistant Editor Joe Moses) at the base of the memorial located on the front lawn of the Allamakee County Courthouse Friday, November 6 to honor Maury Gallagher, a fellow committee member who passed away October 29 and who was so instrumental in the thorough completion of the memorial and the information the overall memorial contains honoring Veterans from Allamakee County. Allamakee County Veterans Memorial Committee Chairperson Dr. David Hahn, DVM says the wreath will likely remain in place for the remainder of this year, unless it becomes worn or weather-impacted.

“When the Allamakee County Veterans Memorial Committee was formed after 9/11 to give our military Veterans additional recognition, it soon became apparent that Maury Gallagher was a special member,” Dr. Hahn shared. “His long and successful career in the U.S. Navy (27 years, retiring as a Commander in 1994) gave him skill and perspective that few people have. He and Carl Christianson (also a long-time Navy Veteran) spent many hours researching names and service records. These included Killed in Action (KIA), Died While Serving, Prisoner of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA). With their background and attention to detail, Carl and Maury also processed memorial brick applications to enhance the Veteran and service information on them. The monument would not be as successful without Maury’s effort. Our committee has lost a valuable member and a good friend.”

Christianson added, “Maury and I grew to be very close friends during the 18 months we spent researching in the Recorder’s Office, old news items, speaking with relatives of KIA and Missing Veterans, National Archives, etc. We both worked well together because our goal was to achieve zero errors and Maury stressed that to me.  A couple weeks before he died we discussed transferring our research documents, brick applications, etc. to the Historical Society for genealogy researchers.”

In addition to his work with the Allamakee County Veterans Memorial, Maury Gallagher also wrote a number of articles for The Standard newspaper sharing the service and life experiences of so many Veterans native to Allamakee County, many of those also being published in his authored salute entitled “Veterans from the Heartland.”

Paul Howes, a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and also a member of the Allamakee County Veterans Memorial Committee, was the subject of one of the stories published by Maury. “After a life of service in the U.S. Navy, Maury retired and returned to Waukon, and he continued to invest his time and energy in gathering and preserving the stories of the Veterans of Allamakee County,” Howes shared. “He interviewed as many Veterans as he could find and encouraged them to share their experiences of their military service. Without his dedication and skills as an interviewer and author, their stories might well have been lost. Many of his stories were published in The Standard over the years, and also collected in a book, ‘Veterans from the Heartland’. For many of the Veterans interviewed by Maury, the time they spent with him sharing their service memories was the first time that they had talked about this part of their lives. He encouraged them to share and value their service. They owe him their gratitude for helping them to process the painful and sometimes difficult experiences. He was a hero for this service to his fellow Veterans as well. When a group formed to create a monument in honor of the Veterans of Allamakee County, Maury was a primary member of the group. His impeccable skills at research were critical to creating a monument that is a true and valid tribute to all the Veterans of the county.”

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