DICKEYVILLE — Fundraising efforts for a new, timeless veterans memorial in Dickeyville have begun.
Riemenapp–Averkamp–Stelpflug VFW Post 6455 of Dickeyville has been working to replace an aging veterans memorial, which consisted of a military tank and a series of wooden panels displaying the names of past war veterans.
The military tank was in poor condition due to vandalism and the changing weather, and was returned to the Army last fall after serving as the community’s veterans memorial for more than 30 years. The wooden panels were deteriorating and were also removed.
In place of the former memorial, the VFW plans to erect a gazebo with a lighted pentagon display.
“One problem with engraving names into stone is that once the process is completed, it becomes outdated immediately,” said Post 6455 member David Splinter. “Someone’s name was forgotten, another citizen joins the military, and another serviceman is discharged. We want to do something different. We are proposing a memorial that is generic in nature.”
No names would be listed, only the name and insignia for each of the five branches of service — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The top will have a U.S. flag engraved with the words “A salute to all those who serve.” This concept will honor past, present, and future service personnel, as well as wartime and peacetime veterans.
The actual piece will be lit with a computer-driven LED array using multiple colors to enhance the engraved panels, it will be constructed of acrylic plastic and assembled into a five-sided pentagon shape. The display will be housed under a five-sided gazebo surrounded by five Korean maple ornamental trees.
Splinter said he came up with the design based on a souvenir he purchased while visiting Washington, D.C. He said he has a half-scale model available for people to see if interested.
“Many communities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for their memorials,” he said. “However, we could never afford that kind of money and we want to construct a reasonably-priced memorial.”
The project is estimated to cost less than $30,000. Grants and donations are being sought for the project. If interested in assisting with the memorial, contact Splinter, 568-7222, or Norman Hanfeld, 568-3397. Donations can also be sent to VFW Post 6455, P.O. Box 8, Dickeyville, WI 53808.
“We sincerely hope that our local residents will support this project and make a commitment to help fund it through their generous donations,” said Splinter.
Post 6455 currently has 32 members, Splinter said.