Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

ACE funds used to build permanent tribute to veterans


August 9, 2018

Courtesy Photo

The flag poles are up in Kimball's Gotte Park. Flags will go up for the first time at the upcoming dedication ceremony.

Flag poles now stand tall awaiting their flags in Kimball's Gotte Park. This project has been two years in the making, and is funded by approximately $8,000 in ACE returns.

The poles, which stand 25 and 30 feet tall, required the bulk of the money at a total of $6,500 with about $2,000 for shipping the poles. The United States flag will fly at 30 feet and the other flags, one for each branch of the military and one Nebraska State flag, will fly at 25 feet.

Kimball Mayor Keith Prunty hopes to plan a dedication ceremony before Labor Day this year, at which time, the flags will be raised for the first time. That ceremony, Prunty hopes, will be a big deal, with service members from each branch raising the flags as each service song is played.

He hopes to include civic organizations, including local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, civics class students and student leaders as well as community leaders and volunteers. Prunty envisions a grand event that brings the entire community together to honor those who committed their time, and in some cases their life, to protecting the nation.

"About a year ago we noticed that we had nothing in our community that honors our veterans throughout the year," Prunty said. "We have our Memorial Day service and the kids do a phenomenal job with our Veteran's Day service, but we don't have a permanent fixture to honor our veterans."

After talking with city leaders and council, the idea was formed. The current addition is phase one, of three.

City workers banded together to make the dream become a reality.

"We had the idea, but John Heidemann was the driving force," Prunty said, "He orchestrated it, but water department, line crew, road department – everybody helped out. I was so proud, seeing everyone work together to make this happen for our veterans and our community. We have a great group of guys and gals."

Phase two will include memorial bricks that can be purchased to lay in the v-shape semi-circle made by the poles.

Courtesy Photo

"People can by bricks with a veterans name engraved on them," Prunty said. "Phase three would be a kiosk, similar to the one at the cemetery, with the information of any veteran, past or present, in the County of Kimball. You can have a picture, commendations, and other information for a nominal fee."

Prunty added that there would be a gazebo covering the kiosk at the park as well.

"I don't know how much the City can afford right now, we don't have anything budgeted for it now," Prunty added.

More changes are in store for public areas around Kimball, Prunty said, to increase the quality of life locally.


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