Memorial Monument Dedicated at Jefferson City National Cemetery

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JEFFERSON CITY - A group of veteran Seabees dedicated the United States Navy Seabee Memorial Monument Saturday at the Jefferson City National Cemetery.

After getting permission for memorial monuments, Navy Seabees have been working to place a memorial monument in every national cemetery across the country. The monument in the Jefferson City National Cemetery is the last of three Navy Seabee monuments to be dedicated in Missouri. The other two monuments are in national cemeteries in St. Louis and Springfield. Getting the monuments to Missouri has taken about 18 months.

Dave Kurre, Veteran Seabee, said a few states with one National Cemetery have dedicated monuments, "but we're the first state with three of them to be completed." He added "we have about 26 of 136 monuments placed."

The U.S. Navy Seabees was created in 1942 during World War II. The word "Seabee" is used for the initials "CB" of "construction battalion."

"I never thought anything like this would happen," said Ralph Thater, who served as a Seabee during World War II. "It came as a surprise to me."

He said serving as a Seabee involved "a lot of hard, hard work."

More than 325,000 men served with the Seabees in World War II. Men and women still continue to serve today.