I am proud to announce the recent endorsement of Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance by Meagan Kurmel, Miss Czech–Slovak US 2015-2016.
On Charles Novacek’s memoir, Ms. Kurmel’s endorsement states:
“From beginning to end, I was enthralled with Charles Novacek’s journey. In a country torn by war, his youth vanished quickly as he found himself performing tasks grown men could not do. Border Crossings is a book about heroism and illustrates the tenacity and strength of the Czech and Slovak character. This is a must read, especially for those yearning to know more about the brave individuals who helped shape World War II and Cold War history.”
Meagan is a native Nebraskan and currently resides in Omaha, the state’s largest city. Like Charles her ancestors were of both Czech and Slovak heritage and she studied to be an engineer. Meagan graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2014, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering and in 2015 received a Master’s in Architectural Engineering with an emphasis in Mechanical Design. She is also a dance teacher, an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking.
During the Miss Czech-Slovak US competition, Meagan performed a ballet polka for her talent. She also wore her grandmother’s kroj (Czech/Slovak folk costume) dating back to the early 20th century from the Piestany region of Slovakia. Meagan’s great-grandfather emigrated from this region in the early 1900s. The Piestany region is known for highly skilled silversmiths. Their craftsmanship is reflected in the silver embellishments seen throughout the kroj.
When competing for Miss Czech-Slovak US, Meagan was asked why she wanted to be crowned, what it means to her and her family, and what goals she would like to accomplish during this year.
She said she wanted to be able to promote and preserve her heritage on the national level and feels deeply honored to be chosen as Miss Czech-Slovak US 2015 – 2016.
“I am very proud to be of Czech-Slovak descent,” Meagan stated. “My family is comprised of individuals who work hard, choose to always do the right thing, and improve their surroundings to create a better place for future generations. I can connect that my love and respect of nature and hard work come from my ancestors and I am honored to be able to carry that on. In this experience, I look forward to meeting all of the interesting individuals and groups. I hope to hear their stories and carry on our traditions.”
I know Charles would be very pleased that Miss Czech-Slovak US not only read his book, but that she has endorsed it; that they share the occupation of engineer, the love and respect of nature, hard work and the desire to make the world a better place for future generations!
Novacek, Charles. Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance. Ten21 Press, 2012. Available in hardcover, paper, and digital formats.