Dedication Ceremony-A large crowd was present for the dedication of the Coleman American Legion Post 280 All Veteran Monument in Coleman on Wednesday, July 4. Two veterans from World War II, Ralph Walters and Leo Seefeldt, unveiled the monument. Top Photo-Legion members salute as the National Anthem is sung by Mollie Graetz. Pictured left to right, back row Jerry Woulf and Wayne Martin, front row Don Rivet, Bob Blackbourn, Ralph Walters, Glenn Buege, Bob Brusky, Leo Seefeldt and Ken Stodola. Bottom Photo-World War II veterans, Ralph Walters and Leo Seefeldt prepare to uncover the monument. The monument reads, Dedicated to the memory of all veterans who proudly served and protected our country. We shall never forget their sacrifices.
Coleman American Legion Dedicates New MemorialIssue Date: July 12, 2018
A crowd of over 150 people, were present for the formal dedication of the Coleman American Legion Post 280, All Veteran Monument located at Lillian Park in Coleman on Wednesday, July 4.
Ken Stodola, commander of Coleman American Legion Post 280 acted as master of ceremonies for the event. After the presentation of colors by the Coleman Legion Color Guard, Mollie Graetz sang the National Anthem. Commander Stodola then led the crowd with the Pledge of Allegiance. Legion Chaplain, Dennis Alexander gave the opening invocation and prayer.
In his brief speech Commander Stodola, said this monument has been a dream of the Coleman American Legion for many years. We wanted to do it in a special place at a special time and when we could financially afford it. Little did we know that so many individuals and businesses would step up to such a great extent to help with this community project. Therefore, I first want to thank everyone that contributed to help us get this done. We not only appreciate the very generous monetary donations that we received, but also all the donated labor and materials. We also thank the Peshtigo Times for their excellent coverage as the project progressed. I also want to extend a very special thank you to our Project Chairman, Bob Blackbourn, the guy that stepped up at our Legion meeting, and said, "I can do this!" He immediately went at it, drew up a plan, and gave it his all for the past few months. He has been living the dream, maybe his bucket list, since the start. I thank him from myself and from all our veterans for getting this done in record time and as perfectly as we all dreamed of. Bob, would you please stand " I think he deserves a rousing round of applause.
I also want to extend a special thank you to the Village of Coleman and especially Village President Glenn Woulf and Dennis Gross. The Village saw the special place this would become and allowed Dennis to help us out. His concrete and landscaping experience was the best that we could have asked for, as he guided us in our endeavor.
We, as veterans past, and those to come, will always find appreciation for our service in this moment and the beautiful park that surrounds it. We thank God for the opportunity to serve, we appreciate the sacrifice and we are thankful for all our friends, families and the community for their outpouring of support. We dedicate this monument for All Veterans, Past, Present and Future.
World War II veterans Leo Seefeldt and Ralph Walters were chosen to do the unveiling of the monument. Both Seefeldt and Walters said it was an honor for them to be able to unveil history.
After the unveiling a gun salute was given and taps was played to honor departed comrades. State Representatives Jeff Mursau and John Nygren were present and spoke about the devotion and importance of our military. Both men thanked all veterans present for their service and congratulated Coleman Legion on the fine job they did with the new monument. Rep. Mursau then read a proclamation from the Wisconsin Legislature and presented a memorial plaque to Commander Stodola. Rep. Nygren presented an American Flag to Stodola that was flown over the capitol in Madison.
Commander Stodola concluded the program by thanking everyone for helping the Legion celebrate this wonderful moment in the history of Coleman. He added, it seems appropriate that our dedication coincides with the upcoming celebration of the American Legion's 100th anniversary.
After the program concluded, Katie's Sub Shop of Pound and The Stationhouse Restaurant in Coleman provided lunch for everyone.
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