WWII chaplain died a hero; daughter honors memory with cross-globe pilgrimage

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - "I never met him, I never knew him," said Marcia Luecke.

Luecke's dad, Captain Markus Lorhmann, was an Army Chaplain.

He served in the Southern Pacific during World War II, and was sent overseas before Marcia was born.

"He didn't as a chaplain, expect he would be giving up his life, but that is what happened," said Luecke.

The boat he was on lost power, so the chaplain and two others decided to swim back to shore to get help.

"He sacrificed his life to save others," Luecke said.

Marcia's father did not survive the swim.

The other two did, and they were able to bring Marcia's father's body back to shore. Marcia was just 18 months old at the time.

"I wanted to honor him and be closer to him and be in a place where he had preached, sacrificed his life, died," she explained.

Last Easter, Marcia made the voyage to the very beach where her father had been.

She had a memorial made up for her father; she left one on the beach, and keeps one at home.

"It brought me closure, and it brought me closer to him," she said.

While most of us spend Memorial Day with friends and family grilling out, or at the park, Marcia wants us to remember the real reason for the holiday.

"I think of my father in heaven and he's there so I can have this wonderful life here, and my children and grandchildren.  We are all here because of his sacrifice," Luecke said.

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