Organization Unveils Monument for Local Soldier

9 years 4 months 3 days ago Saturday, April 09 2011 Apr 9, 2011 Saturday, April 09, 2011 5:19:00 PM CDT April 09, 2011 in Continuous News
By: Daniel Spewak
loading

MOBERLY -- Eleven-year-old Nick Gelina still remembers how much his father loved the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He used to run around with me on his shoulders when the Chiefs used to win," Gelina said. "And started banging on the doors in the house. Yelling and screaming... I'll never forget him."

Mark Gelina died in Iraq in 2006 at the age of 33, leaving behind his wife, Stacey, three children and a stepson.

More than four years later, his family now has a monument in its hometown to honor his legacy every day.

The organization Flags for Freedom Outreach unveiled the statue at Rothwell Park in Moberly, Mo., Saturday morning in front of family, friends and community members. The group, founded four years ago by Candy Adams, spent the past year raising funds for the monument.

Adams does not plan to stop at just one headstone. In fact, she said she would eventually like to create a monument for every solider killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's a goal that we know is kind of out there," Adams said. "But we're very serious about what we're doing and we're very driven. And every single [soldier] deserves to have a ceremony like we did today."

The short ceremony featured mayor Bob Riley, family members-- including Nick, who told the story about the Chiefs-- and friends as speakers. Maj. Sean Quinlan, who served alongside him in the Marines, gave an especially inspired speech.

"Everything Mark Gelina did was for the Marines," Quinlan told the crowd. "I was with Mark the day he checked in until the day he died. I was with him when he died. It'll never be the same again."

Adams said the event "couldn't have gone any better." According to her, the organization's long-term goal would require $16 million. To raise the money, Adams wants to create a "dollar program" with national corporations during the month of September. The plan would allow customers to purchase personalized dollar bills and hang them on store walls for the entire month.

For Gelina's loved ones, such as his mother Teresa Coonce, organizations like Flags for Freedom Outreach prove therapeutic.

"It's awesome to think there are enough people in the world and donations to make the monument for us for the city of Moberly," Coonce said. "I wish [these ceremonies] didn't have to happen. But it's a wonderful way to honor our sons as well as anybody's loved ones."

Coonce said she never worried about Mark overseas because her father and brother both returned from war unscathed. Four years after his death, she still stares at a picture of her son each morning and night, which she received as a Christmas gift from her three oldest children.

"We see him every day," Coonce said. "If he's not in our thoughts, he's in our visions."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Water supply district number 1 is under a precautionary boil advisory because of low water pressure. There... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:04:04 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
Editor's note: This op-ed is a collaboration between the mental health doctors in the United States from the National Network... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:39:57 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - After school programs have to make adjustments because of the Columbia school board’s vote to delay the start... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 3:31:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Monday crash in Jefferson City damaged three parked vehicles and injured the driver. Curtis Murrell... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:18:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 confirmed on the scene of the incident a man was shot on Tuesday at the Columbia... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 7:22:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia mayor Brian Treece called on college students to make smart choices when returning to campus. "I... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:58:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou superfan Brian Garner has accumulated hundreds of coaches and players' signatures on his prosthetic leg. He hasn't... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The news conference is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., according to Trump. More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Public school administrators discussed, Tuesday afternoon, the district's reopening plans, as student prepare for the start of... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:16:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — In a new briefing Tuesday afternoon, Columbia police asked the public for information on two separate early-morning incidents.... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:53:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The parking lot at Tolton Catholic High School will fill up two weeks before Columbia Public Schools. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- [Breaking news update, published at 4:40 p.m. ET] The Pac-12 Conference CEO Group unanimously voted Tuesday to... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. It’s a move... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:23:39 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A news conference staged Tuesday put mourners and activists in front of cameras to call on Governor... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:02:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City School Board has agreed to sell the former Simonsen Ninth Grade Center building to... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:17:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:09:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 85°
2pm 87°
3pm 87°
4pm 87°
5pm 86°