Nov. 9 dedication set for Oconto Falls veterans monument

Close to 400 commemorative plaques may be installed
Warren Bluhm,

OCONTO FALLS — As a new veterans monument nears completion, plans have begun for a Nov. 9 dedication ceremony in time for Veterans Day.

Organizers chose that date so it would not conflict with previously scheduled Veterans Day events.

“It’s just too much to do all in one day,” said Bob Maloney, who has spearheaded the fundraising campaign for Oconto Falls American Legion Post 302. “The schools do such a great job with the (Veterans Day) programs at the high school and elementary school that we just didn’t want to get in the middle of that.”

Dedication is to take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 9, a Saturday morning.

Maloney told the Oconto Falls School Board on Sept. 9 that they are recruiting local veterans who graduated from Oconto Falls High School and had careers in the military to speak at the dedication ceremony.

The Oconto Falls School District agreed to let veterans groups erect the monument on a small parcel just south of the district office on North Farm Road. Construction began this summer.

“We’re extremely happy with where we’re at with the monument,” Maloney said. “I’m happy that I don’t have to come here and twist arms anymore. Now I’m twisting arms in the community trying to get the funds. But I’m happy to announce we have all of the funds that we need; we’ve surpassed our budget, and now we’ll work toward financing that maintenance fund.”

Three hundred commemorative bricks have been completed and shipped to be placed in the monument, and another 50 to 100 are on order, he said, adding that the response has been gratifying.

“We were hoping once we started that the interest would pique and we would start getting phone calls,” Maloney said. “And I’m here to tell you that (post Commander) Terry Umentum loves going to the post office every day now because there’s a check or two or three or four. Our community members really stepped up when it came to supporting the veterans and this monument.”