It took six years, but the Village of Greendale will finally get a veterans memorial.
Plans for the memorial were initially opposed by some groups, but eventually the village approved the proposal about three years ago.
The only thing that kept construction from beginning was $300,000. A recent donation from a local foundation allowed the memorial committee to reach its goal.
"It’s terrific news for the people and the surrounding area of Greendale," said Tim Baranzyk, a Vietnam veteran and the commander of American Legion Post 416.
Baranzyk has spearheaded this idea from its inception. He says Greendale was one of the only area communities without a veterans memorial.
Initially, the idea was met with opposition by the school district because of potential traffic issues at the site.
"Some agreed, some didn’t agree, some walked out, we're still here," said Baranzyk.
Recently, he says Dale Martin with the Kainz Foundation donated $150,000 to the cause, essentially doubling what they had already raised.
"I almost went in my car, almost started crying," said Baranzyk. "I couldn’t believe it."
The memorial will honor all veterans from every military branch. An interactive kiosk in the middle will allow visitors to play stories of local veterans.
"We’ve got people from Iwo Jima, the first wave on the battle of Normandy," said Baranzyk.
Construction plans still need final approval from the village. One final public meeting will take place on July 17, according to Baranzyk.
If all goes well, the groundbreaking could take place this fall.
"I think the people, when they see what we have, they’re going to be surprised," said Baranzyk. "They’re going to really like it."
The Greendale Veterans Memorial Committee is still collecting donations to cover increased construction costs. More information can be found here.