This photo was taken at the proposed site of the Greendale Veterans Memorial back in 2015. Since the photo was taken, many things have happened including the passing away of one of our senior and truly active members in the picture, Harold Kuehnel, in 2018. The men shown in the photo are just a few of the members of Post 416, the VFW Post, and dedicated members of the Greendale Veterans Memorial Committee and the Greendale Village Board who participated in the ongoing development of the Memorial.
Some History in the Making
Plans for the memorial were originally thought up as a possibility by the Post Commander, Tim Baranzyk. Several years before its inception, he talked about building a memorial in the Village of Greendale. He visited a number of other American Legion Posts that had built memorials to come up with some viable ideas. Bob Naffier had the fortunate opportunity to accompany the Commander to one of the sites while at a nearby Legion Convention and they took pictures of a very impressive memorial. It focused on each of the branches of the armed services and included some of America's most popular historical events, which really captured our attention. As timing would have it, another very kind gentleman who was also a member of Post 416, had attended a regular monthly meeting at the Post when he brought with him a model of a memorial he once designed and built in another state. He was unaware of Commander Baranzyk's plans at the time to build a memorial in Greendale. He showed the model to Bob Naffier who was the Second Vice Commander at the time and Bob was so impressed with the man's talents that he introduced the gentleman to the Post Commander. The man's name was Harold Krueger, a very successful entrepreneur, since retired and he passed away. Mr. Krueger was an extremely intelligent man in his late eighties. Having no formal education or training in the field, he became self-taught in construction engineering with a flair for designing structures of all types, some of them quite sophisticated. He took much pride in his work. The Post Commander, Tim Baranzyk, saw this as an opportunity to make his dream come true, to build a veterans memorial in the Village of Greendale. Harold Krueger sat on the committee until his death in 2016.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
On September 15, 2015, the Greendale Village Board agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Greendale Veterans Memorial Committee to build a memorial dedicated to veterans at the northeast corner of Broad Street and Southway. The terms and responsibilities of each party were specified in this written agreement and the Greendale Veterans Memorial Committee had three years to raise the required funds to build the memorial. The estimated amount needed was $300,000.00.
PUBLICITY COMMITTEE FORMED
A website at www.GreendaleVeteransMemorial.org was created along with a Face Book page to show the latest information regarding progress on the memorial. All of the updates were made possible through the hard work of Kristin Dodds and Eileen Soto who worked on improvements for the website, ongoing. At the same time, information connected with the memorial was added to the Legion's website at www.greendalepost416.com. All of this was designed to keep our friends and supporters in the communication loop. Readers were requested to please consider using their own Face Book pages and email lists to inform friends, relatives and neighbors about the memorial project. Soon, not only the residents of Greendale expressed interest in the memorial project, but so did the residents in surrounding communities. Stories and other information were written up in the monthly newsletter distributed to over 500 recipients. All of this plus other activities had a strong impact on the success of the project.
A FUND RAISING COMMITTEE WAS FORMED
The Veterans Memorial Committee approved the formation of a special fundraising committee with Tim Baranzyk as the sub-committee chair. Additional volunteers quickly became involved and immediate plans were in place to raise funds. The Firing Squad and other members of the Post became instrumental in making the funds possible through bingo, pancake breakfasts, the sale of commemorative bricks, pen and pin sales, and so on. The Post placed an image of a large thermometer on the proposed site for all to see how much money was raised so far. Passersby had a clear view of the thermometer. This acted as a motivator for more contributions.
Several companies, including Northwest Mutual Insurance Company, GZA Environmental, The Sigma Group, R.A. Smith, Inc. and Metropolitan Survey Company were instrumental in assisting the committee with construction plans and costs. Bill Kewan, a friend of the Post, became the original memorial concepts designer and Harold Krueger developed the construction drawings. Their work provided the committee with a tangible starting point for the final construction plans to be submitted to the Village Trustees and Village Planning Commission. The co-chair of the Veterans Memorial Committee at the time, Ken Kieck, helped secure a donation of all the granite needed for this memorial. His contacts in the construction industry were invaluable and saved the committee thousands of dollars. This essentially became the starting point for many other donations to follow. All of this mad e the project possible.
STATUS IN 2018
The goal to reach $300,000.00 in funds became a reality. This was due in a large part to a generous donation made by the Krainz Foundation, presented by Dale Martin who became a Vice Commander at Post 416 for 2017-2018.The Greendale Veterans Memorial Committee continues to solicit monetary donations to help with increased construction costs. Donors were encouraged to make contributions even if they were not residents of Greendale.
This covers much of the history of this project. Please notify Bob Naffier at 414-520-0538 if any corrections need to be made. Meanwhile, we look forward to honoring all past, present and future members of our armed forces through the dedication of this memorial. We thank Bob Vanselow and Bob Zolandz for their donation of the picture you see on this page.