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Cemetery hosts Memorial ceremony

Bobby Mayberrybmayberry@paducahsun.com

MOUNDS, Ill. - The 2014 Memorial Day Ceremony at the Mound City National Cemetery was dedicated to Korean War veterans, the men who fought "The Forgotten War."

Several Korean War veterans were present, all over 80 years old.

Capt. Ken Gooding of the U.S. Merchant Marines addressed the crowd with a brief history of the Korean War. Gooding spoke of the 36,516 Americans killed in the "Police Action" that lasted just over three years, including more than 8,000 listed as missing in action.

Paul Echols, retired CSI investigator with the Carbondale Police Department, told the story of Marshall Bagby.

Bagby was born in October of 1899 and joined the Illinois National Guard and became a member of Company K in Cairo. In May 1918, Bagby was deployed with Company K and became part of the 130th Infantry of the 33rd Division of the U.S. Army. The men of Company K were sent to Brest, France, to fight in World War I. Bagby was wounded seven times.

After returning to the states, Bagby became a police officer in Mounds and was eventually promoted to chief of police.

Early in the morning of July 24, 1925, Bagby was murdered while on duty. The coroner's report concluded that a drifter named John Spuerer of Chicago and Bagby engaged in a gunfight after Bagby interrupted a burglary.

Spuerer pleaded guilty and was given a life sentence at Menard State Prison.

Bagby was laid to rest at the Mound City National Cemetery. Lloyd Bosecker, Lyle Womack, John Bosecker and Bravo, three current Mounds police officers and a canine, stood guard at Bagby's grave as Echols spoke.

The Mound City National Cemetery was designated as a national cemetery in 1864 with 1,644 original interments, all of whom died at the Mound City Naval Hospital. By 1871 there were over 4,700 interments, 2,400 of them unknown.

Today the Mound City National Cemetery has over 8,000 interments and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Contact Bobby Mayberry, a Paducah Sun reporter, at 270-575-8663.

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