For the past year, John and Barbara Grauer have worked to have Lester John Blackmer’s name added to the Fallen Heroes Monument in Grand Haven’s Central Park.
The Roscommon couple stumbled upon the monument during one of their frequent visits to Grand Haven. They searched for John's uncle's name on the monument, which lists local residents who were killed during World War II service, and said they were astonished not to find it.
“Why isn’t he on there?” Barbara asked.
Barbara said she wanted to keep digging until Blackmer’s name was added to the list and to find out how it could have been missed.
Blackmer grew up on Columbus Avenue in Grand Haven and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a seaman second class. He died in January 1945 when his plane failed to make a safe landing in Miami, Fla.
Ken Kelly, a service officer at the Grand Haven American Legion Post 28 and chairman of the monument committee, said he spoke with the Grauers several times and received the proper documentation to verify Blackmer’s information. He said Superior Monument plans to add Blackmer’s name in the near future.
Cristine Bouwkamp, a designer for Superior Monument, said they look forward to adding the name to the Central Park monument.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.