Kenosha County teen creates memorial wall for fallen service members

Typed up more than 6,000 names
Posted at 10:14 PM, May 25, 2018

A Kenosha County seventh grader is making sure fallen service members aren't forgotten about this Memorial Day weekend. 

Collin Kadel created his own memorial wall to pay tribute to the men and women in our armed forces who have died in the middle east. 

Kadel attends Bristol School, where the memorial wall is now on display. Each name on the wall was typed out by Kadel and several of his friends. 

"On each poster, there's about 1,287," said Kadel. 

He and his friends have worked on this for the last two months, spending their free time organizing and looking up names. 

Kadel's father, Dennis, retired from the U.S. Navy in 2015. Collin says he was inspired by a bench in their front yard that lists the names of the fallen U.S. Marines who served with his father in Afghanistan. 

"I figured there were a lot more than just those 10 or 12 and I figured why not try and find a site that has all of them," said Collin. 

He ended up typing out 6,807 names. All men and women who died during either Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

"I guess it's kind of sad that so many of them had to give their lives so that we could be here today," said Collin. "There were a few guys who died on Christmas and I thought that their families must have been at home opening up presents when their family member was being shot."  

It took them a total of six, full-size poster boards to fit all of the names. Collin says he hopes his wall will help people remember the reason for Memorial Day this weekend. 

"The whole point of the holiday is to remember the people who are behind me right now," he said. 

Collin says he wants to join the U.S. Air Force and become a pilot. His memorial wall will remain on display at his school for the time being, but Collin says there is talk about moving it to a library in Salem.