Vet’s Memorial rededicated

by Verla Peichl Review Correspondent


A solemn flag-raising was part of the ceremonies at Saturday’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl A solemn flag-raising was part of the ceremonies at Saturday’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl This year the 20th anniversary of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and the memorial location in Sheboygan was the place to be this past weekend.

There were displays and tents with memorabilia from the war, a Wall of Remembrance which told the story of our past terrorist attacks, and a scale-model replica of the wall known as The Healing Wall.

The Wall of Remembrance was an extra large display with clippings, info and some graphic pictures to remind Americans why we need to keep terrorists at bay and continue to monitor their actions.

The Wall of Remembrance spans from 1983 to the present. It was a course on history and on the back side there was a list of names of all those lost in the events depicted.


Maj. Bill Ray was a featured speaker at Saturday’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl Maj. Bill Ray was a featured speaker at Saturday’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial. — Review photo by Verla Peichl The Healing Wall is an exact replica of the one in Washington, D.C. There was a book available where a certain name could be located and then found as it appears on that wall.

A memorial ceremony took place at the front side of the Veteran’s Memorial.

Committee Chairman Allen Nohl was the emcee and introduced speakers Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Major Bill Ray.

The opening invocation was given by Rev. Brian Osladil of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and the Hometown Harmony Quartet sang the “National Anthem.”

“This is a day of celebration for the 20th anniversary of this Veteran’s Memorial and it gives us a special way to say, ‘thank you,’ to them,” said Kleefisch. “Freedom is not free and for that we once again truly say, ‘thank you.’”

“When I was in the sixth grade I went to Washington, D.C. with my parents and everything seemed larger than life,” she said. “My parents put their hands on the Wall and I could see their emotions swell, and I remember what an emotional time just being there was.”

“Many of you are Vietnam veterans and I want to say, ‘welcome home,’” said Kleefisch, “We should not forget to say ‘thank you’ to a single veteran from all of the other wars, such as the Korean, World War II and all of the rest.

“I also would like to say ‘thank you’ to all of those who are veterans on the campaign of terror,” said Kleefisch.”Wisconsin became a state in 1848 and that’s when the Civil War began. One out of nine went to fight and they went to fight for our liberty.”

“It was at that time that Abraham Lincoln was asked many questions regarding who he prays for, the North or the South, and he said, ‘No, I don’t pray for just one side, I pray that we fight on the side of God, for God is always right,’” she said. “One of my favorite hymns is the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ but especially these lines of the last verse. ‘In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.’”

“Veterans, we thank you and may God continue to bless America,” said Kleefisch.

Major Bill Ray has spent seven decades with the military. His points of insight were not only breathtaking but heartwarming.

“A veteran is a person who writes a blank check for his country,” said Ray. “He will give anything to this country, including his life.”

“The people we honor were living, breathing, ordinary people who did extraordinary things when they were called,” said Ray. “Even those who came back left part of themselves behind.”

An emotional Allen Nohl recognized the first group of 15 men that organized the building of the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial and noted that only three were left.

The flag was then lowered to half mast and a gun salute with taps followed.

Nohl, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee, was crew chief of a helicopter in Vietnam.

As the sole survivor of a midair helicopter collision, Nohl remembered the men lost in that tragic event.

“So that’s why I work at this thing,” Nohl said while fighting back tears. “To honor those guys.”

An on this day he went flying for the first time in 44 years.

“It felt good,” said Nohl.””Knowing that I could face that challenge of getting back in the helicopter.”

A benediction was given by the retired Rev. Arlan Schlundt and Rachel Peichl-McGee sang a verse of “God Bless America.”

To learn more about the Sheboygan County Veterans Memorial, visit www.scymemorial.org


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