Flagpole dedicated at Memorial Park

Park system’s largest flagpole result of community donations
Tim Ryan

SHAWANO — City officials and local veterans groups held a ceremony Tuesday to dedicate a new flagpole at Memorial Park.

The 55-foot pole, bearing a 10-by-15-foot flag, was the result of community donations from the veterans groups and other organizations.

“This flag represents all the veterans in our community, and they continue to give back to the community in so many ways,” Mayor Ed Whealon said. “Not only this, but other projects that go on in our community are benefited by these veterans groups, and we’re grateful for that. And I know the citizens appreciate what the veterans do for our community.”

Whealon said the flagpole, located roughly in the center of Memorial Park, is fitting given the park’s name.

“It’s the largest flag in the park system,” Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks said.

The total cost of the project, including running electrical line underground so the flag could be lighted, was about $12,000.

The veterans groups donated about $10,000 of that specifically for this project, while the other $2,000 was covered by funds that have been donated to the city’s parks projects by people who did not designate a specific project for it to be used, Hendricks said.

Shawano Alderman Seth Mailahn spearheaded the effort.

“It was brought up to me, and I grabbed the bull by the horns, I guess,” Mailahn said. “With the help of Matt and some other people, we got kind of a little grassroots thing going right away, and it took off.”

“All these organizations said right away, right off the get-go, they would pitch in and make it happen,” he said.

Organizations that donated to the flagpole project included AmVets Post 10, Shawano Youth League, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars 2723, American Legion posts 117 and 217 and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 206.

“I’m grateful to live in a community that so many different organizations and partners in this community come together for so many different projects just to make Shawano such a great place,” Mailahn said. “It just makes me very happy.”

Tuesday’s ceremony included color guards from the various veterans groups. Ralph Beversdorf sang the National Anthem.