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More than a century after his death, Captain Edward Fleur's sacrifice commemorated by major thoroughfare

The Captain lost his life in a gas attack in France in May of 1918.

DES MOINES, Iowa — In Woodland Cemetery, just on the other side of Martin Luther King Parkway, is the World War I Gold Star Memorial. It's where you'll find the burial site of Captain Edward Fleur. 

Fleur was a Swedish immigrant who lived on the northeast side of Des Moines with his wife, Minnie. 

"He was a officer who looked after his men and was a popular figure," said Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Society. 

Fleur served in both the Spanish-American War and WWI. On May 27, 1918, he was killed in a gas attack in France. Years later, Minnie was able to have his body returned to Des Moines. The city decided to honor the late captain.

"The city of Des Moines decides to name the main drive headed out of south Des Moines toward Warren County, Fleur Drive, and honor Captain Fleur," said Landis. 

When the drive was named in his honor, it was well before an airport was built in the city. Now the street is what welcomes natives and first-timers into the city, with thousands of cars traveling it every single day.

"WWI, or the Great War, was the war to make the world safe for democracy," said Landis. "And those are ideals that still matter to us."

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