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God Bless Plizen and God Bless America

Have you ever wondered if anyone in Europe remembers America’s sacrifice in World War II?  There is an answer in a small town in the Czech Republic.  The town called Pilsen (Plzen).

Every five years Plzen conducts the Liberation Celebration of the City of Pilsen in the Czech Republic.  May 6th, 2010 marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen by General George Patton’s 3rd Army.

Pilsen is the town that every American should visit.

Because… they love America and the American Soldier…


even 65 years later…….by the thousands


the citizens of Pilsen came to say thank you…



lining the streets of Pilsen for miles.


From large crowds ,


To quiet reflective moments ,


Including this American family’s private time to honor and remember their American hero.


This is the crash site of Lt. Virgil P. Kirkham; the last recorded American USAAF pilot killed in Europe during WWII.   It was Lt. Kirkham’s 82nd mission and one that he volunteered to go on.

At the time this 20 year old pilot’s P-47 Thunderbolt plane was shot down, a young 14 year old Czech girl, Zdenka Sladkova, was so moved by his sacrifice she made a vow to care for him and his memory.

For 65 straight years, Zdenka, now 79 years old, took on the responsibility to care for Virgil’s crash site and memorial near her home.

On May 4th she was recognized by the Mayor of Zdenka’s hometown of Trhanova, Czech Republic, for her sacrifice and extraordinary effort to honor this American hero.


Another chapter in this important story….. the Czech people are teaching their children about America’s sacrifice for their freedom.



American Soldiers, young and old, are the ”Rock Stars” these children and their parents want autographs from..

Yes, Rock Stars! … As they patiently waited for his autograph, the respect this little Czech boy and his father have for our troops serving today was heartwarming and inspirational.


The Brian LaViolette Foundation will established The Scholarship of Honor in tribute to General George S. Patton and the American Soldier, past and present.


Each year, a different military hero will be honored in tribute to General Patton’s memory and their mission to liberate Europe.

This award will be presented to a graduating senior who will be entering the military or a form of community service such as fireman, policeman, teaching or nursing, a cause greater than self.  The student will be from one of the five high schools in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

The first award will be presented in May 2011 in honor of Lt. Virgil Kirkham, that young 20-year-old P-47 pilot killed 65 years ago in the final days of WWII.



Presenting Virgil’s award will be someone who knows the true meaning of service and sacrifice… someone who looks a lot like Virgil


Marion Kirkham, Virgil’s brother, who himself served during WWII in the United States Army - Air Corps. !!!

In closing… Here is what the city of Pilsen thinks of General Patton’s grandson. George Patton Waters (another Rock Star!) we’re proud to say, serves on Brian’s Foundation board.


And it’s front-page news.. not buried in the middle of the social section..


Brigadier General Miroslav Zizka – 1st Deputy Chief of Staff – Ministry of Defense – Czech Armed Forces.


So please join this amazing journey


Come visit Pilsen in the Czech Republic during the first part of May 2011, it may also be a life changing experience for you.

And please share this email with your family and friends and ask them to do the same…..every American should hear this story.

Submitted by Linda Wilson, Monterey Park


  1. Thank You Pilsen. This is a tribute to the spirit of freedom.

  2. The town of Bastonge in Belgium also remembers American troops’ sacrifices very fondly (made famous by the TV series Band of Brothers). In fact you can find many places in Europe (generally smaller towns rather than big cities) where the people of the town/village remember fondly the sacrificies of foreign soldiers for their freedom.

    I can’t remember if the name of the town was Ypres or that was the name of the area, but the townsfolk there still fondly recall the efforts of NZ soldiers in WW1!

    Also, Pilsen was also the birthplace of pilsner beer. Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner beer, and gets its name from the town from which it comes. If you need another reason to visit that seems like a good one.

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