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Councilman Larry Roth made a Special Presentation to Homestead resident Gunther Karger at the March 21 City Council Meeting. Karger celebrated his 85th birthday on March 16, in addition to celebrating 65 years of marriage this year to his wife, Shirley. To put it simply, Karger is a person of extraordinary accomplishments and character who also has an extraordinary history. In addition, he is the author of several books.
As he introduced Karger, Councilman Roth explained, “It’s not very often you run into someone in your life who inspires, touches you and has been around for many, many years. Gunther Karger is one of those people. Gunther’s done so many amazing things in his life that I thought for his 85th birthday, we would do something special for him, from the City.”
So Mayor Porter and the City of Homestead proclaimed March 16, 2018 Gunther Karger Day. Following is the text of the proclamation, which Councilman Roth read aloud to Gunther and Shirley, as they stood with him at the front of the Council Chambers:
WHEREAS: Gunther Karger is the sole remaining Holocaust Survivor in the Homestead area from Kendall through the Keys. His entire family perished in Germany, and Gunther survived only because his parents sent him to Sweden on the last children’s transport; and
WHEREAS: After seven years of living in two foster homes and one orphanage, Gunther arrived to America alone as a war refugee, speaking no English. Gunther endured another two foster homes before enlisting in the Air Force at the age of 18; and
WHEREAS: Gunther is recognized as one of the three engineers responsible for the world’s first communication satellite, reporting the potential threat to over 100 American cities during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Among his accomplishments are “Outstanding Young Man of America” Award, membership in Technology as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Cape Canaveral during the Moon Mission, and his position on Miami-Dade County’s Transportation Action Committee.; and
WHEREAS: On March 16th, 2018, Gunther and his wife, Shirley, celebrated his 85th Birthday and will be celebrating every birthday here after with Homestead being their final HOME.
After the reading of the proclamation, Gunther responded, “It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a pleasure to be alive. It’s a privilege and honor to live here in Homestead.”
He concluded, “I’m thankful to America for inviting me here to live a life.” He then played “God Bless America” on his harmonica.