Grassroots effort blossoms, pushes for veterans memorial in Greendale

GREENDALE (WITI) -- The push to secure land for a veterans memorial in the Village of Greendale takes a new turn. It's become a grassroots effort of sorts -- with Jan Gardner front and center. For the last four days, she has stood on the curb, waving, watching and hoping for change.

"I want to show the vets that we care about them," said Gardner. "I've never done this before."

Gardner took that action because the Greendale Board of Education stopped the veterans from building a proposed memorial on a piece of land at the intersection of Broad St. and Southway.

"I didn't know what else to do because I was so mad. I wanted to do something," said Gardner.

Gardner started a movement. On Saturday, two 20-year-olds placed a pair of boots and a World War II helmet next to a large flag. Hours later, two young boys added some smaller flags.

"There's just been really nice displays of solidarity, I guess you'd call it," said Gardner.

Ken Kieck is chair of the memorial committee. It hoped to build a six-panel display honoring members of six branches of service. The memorial would also feature an interactive computer kiosk.

"We were led to believe this property was available. And then at the last minute, to have the rug pulled out from under us, it got us upset," said Kieck.

That happened last week when the Greendale Board of Education voted 3-2 to deny the proposal for the veterans memorial.

"We were a little hurt and very disappointed," said Kieck.

But seeing the impromptu memorial pop up warms their hearts.

"I've always been proud of the community and this just puts it over the top to see that we get this kind of support," said Kieck.

FOX6 News spoke with the school board president who said it has "no plans to readdress the issue, but will continue to support the veterans memorial committee and continue the dialogue with them as they work to find a suitable site." He went on to say, "They are confident a suitable site exists in Greendale that is both prominent and accessible."

CLICK HERE to learn more about the proposed Greendale Veterans Memorial.