Restored remembrance

veterans memorial set to be unveiled Monday in Hermansville

The new veteran’s memorial in the Meyer Township Cemetery in Hermansville will be unveiled at the annual Memorial Day service and dedication Monday. Lynda Gurgall, Ladies Auxiliary Unit 340 member and project co-coordinator, and volunteer Grace Cole work on the grounds around the new sidewalk at the memorial. (Iron Mountain Daily News photo)

HERMANSVILLE — After two years, the new veterans memorial in the Meyer Township Cemetery in Hermansville is nearing completion.

The project, inspired by American Legion Post 340 Ladies Auxiliary member Lynda Gurgall, will be unveiled at the annual Memorial Day service and dedication Monday.

Gurgall came up with the idea about three years ago, as she had attended many Memorial Day services at the cemetery.

“I looked at Frankie Rodman (known as “Mr. Hermansville” and dedicated member of Post 340) and thought to myself, ‘I got to do this,'” Gurgall said.

The 1940 monument was showing its age and in desperate need of being replaced, and she also envisioned a second monument to include an updated list of all veterans.

THE RESTORED ROLL call plaque that will be placed on the new veterans memorial in the Meyer Township Cemetery in Hermansville. The restoration was done by Paul Gurgall.

“The original monument had the names of World War I veterans and the second now represents all those veterans on the roll call,” Gurgall said.

She, along with Post 340 Auxiliary member Marilyn Popp, came up with the design. “As soon as we had a plan, we got to work,” she said.

The duo, along with a group of volunteers, started with removing the crumbling concrete sidewalk and monument, along with the benches, trees and flag pole.

The new pathway is lined with daffodils and the two angels are surrounded by tulips.

“Last fall, volunteers Grace Cole and Austin Gurgall planted approximately 600 bulbs,” Gurgall said, adding they also made 300 new white crosses to be placed for services at the marker.

THE OLD SITE of the veterans memorial monument in the Meyer Township Cemetery in Hermansville.

Flying prominently behind the memorial are nine American flags and each branch of military service and POW/MIA flags.

The old flag pole was relocated to the Floriano-Stecker-American Legion Hall in Hermansville.

“Everything is lined up so perfectly,” she said. “The new crabapple trees that were planted behind are just another beauty.”

The original plaque was renovated by her brother, Paul Gurgall. “It looks phenomenal,” she said.

Gurgall said they are busy putting the finishing touches in time for Memorial Day, including planting flower beds that will contain poppies.

“I can’t wait for everything to come together,” Gurgall said. “The details of everything just blows you away.”

The project cost about $30,000.

“We hosted a lot of spaghetti dinners to raise the funds,” Gurgall said, adding they also received donations from the community.

She noted all the volunteers that assisted to make the project happen.

The public is invited to attend the dedication of the new veterans memorial at 11:45 a.m., that will follow Post 340’s annual Memorial Day service at 11:15 a.m. Attendees are reminded to bring a chair. The ladies auxiliary will host a luncheon at the post after the event.

Post members will also honor the Floriano family at the dedication, as they were instrumental in starting the Hermansville Post 340. Joe Floriano will be guest speaker.

The auxiliary will have a display of pictures of the old monument, along with steps of the progress being done at the dedication.

“We have several surprises for our program,” Gurgall added. “I think a lot of veterans will be happy.”

Gurgall said they are very excited about the progress and hopes everyone can attend the dedication.

Meyer Township Cemetery is on County Road 388 in Hermansville.


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