In Pilsen, a city of about 200,000 in the Czech Republic, the recent celebration of its liberation from the Nazis involved U.S. veterans, as well.
Todd and Tonya Schmidt of Waunakee had a chance to mark the occasion during ceremonies throughout the day as guests of Steve King, a U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
At the May 16 Waunakee Rotary  meeting, the Schmidts told of their experience as King’s guests at the  Ambassador’s residence in Prague.
Todd got to know Steve King in Milton, where Todd served as city administrator and Steve was involved in the community as a business owner. Steve was also active with the Republican party and served as its chair.
When Todd and Tonya were planning their 20th anniversary trip to Prague, they touched base with Steve hoping to join him for  dinner, but instead they received an invitation to be his guests for a few days and to accompany him to the Pilsen Liberation Festival.
Among the dignitaries, there was talk about the suspicion that Putin may be using social media to discredit America’s role in Pilsen’s liberation, to which Ambassador King noted that the veterans who live to tell the story preserve the truth and the history.
U.S. veterans laid a wreath in a small ceremony to commemorate the United State’s part of the liberation in 1945.
A larger ceremony was held, as well, and Gen. Patton’s grandson participated. Todd relayed that President Roosevelt wanted to pull out of Europe prior to liberating Pilsen, but Gen. Patton insisted on the mission.
“It was so surreal. There’s so much history in the Czech Republic, but to be with Gen. Patton’s grandson was just amazing,” Tonya said.
They were surrounded by an array of veterans, ambassadors and others who were working to preserve the history of that time.
Often, American is not celebrated in other countries in such a way, Tonya said, but many men and women lost their lives trying to liberate the city.
As for Ambassador’s residence, the Schmidts described the palatial home built in the 1920s by a Jewish family that later immigrated to the United States when the Nazis came into power.
Todd and Tonya stayed in the same quarters Paul Ryan and George W. Bush had.
Pilsen is the city where the beer, Pilsner Urquell is brewed, and beer is the beverage of choice there, they said.
Other News:
–Nick Mischler told the club that the sculpture at Waunakee High School is just about complete and was unveiled the day prior. One piece is left – a sculpture of an open book at the site with the name of the piece, “Illuminating a Path,” and sculptor’s signature. Nick thanked the club and the foundation for their contributions toward the project.  
–Mike Ableidinger reported that the Center for Rural History at Schumacher Farm Park is has received its occupancy permit. Some additional work is being completed on it.
Guests: Linda Schmitz, Tonya Schmidt and Adam Bentley, guests of Todd Schmidt; Elizabeth Teeter, guest of Howard Teeter; Sharon Kruschek, guest of Neil Kruschek.
Corporate Associates: Ricky Thorsen and Aimee Clemens, guest of Kim L.
Visiting None.
Birthdays: May 23, Bob Klostermann; May 26, Bob Lenz.
Anniversaries: May 23, Greg and Heidi Garton; May 24, Ryan and Sherri Knight; May 25, Mick and Jeamie Holm; May 25, Jon and Barbara Townley.
Greeters: May 23, Robert Pulvermacher and Corey Randl; May 30, Tom Roepke and David Rupp; June 6, Bob Sachtjen and Troy Salisbury; June 13, Ellen Schaaf and Todd Schmidt.