HALES CORNERS — Southeastern Wisconsin is dotted with war memorials, but for 175 years, one community never had one. That changed on Sunday in Hales Corners — just in time for Memorial Day, with the work of a World War II veteran and a teenager.
The veterans of Hales Corners raised the flag Sunday at a memorial they can finally call their own. This day would have never come without the help of a high school sophomore.
Mitchell McGlinn needed an idea for his Eagle Scout project two years ago. He thought of the times his family visited the War Memorial in West Allis.
“I always wondered why there wasn’t anything closer to home in Hales Corners, where I was born and raised. There was no war memorial,” McGlinn said.
McGlinn looked for help, and got some from World War II veteran Howard Hingiss.
Both men admit it was an unlikely partnership.
“I know it seems kinda hard – 15, and me being 84, so you had a little difference in there. You have to have the young people involved, because they have the new ideas,” Hingiss said.
Hingiss, McGlinn and others pitched their ideas to one donor at a time, until they collected over $130,000 – enough to build the newest war memorial in southeastern Wisconsin.
“I can’t describe the feeling. It’s just one of those days I’ll never forget,” McGlinn said.
It took over two years to built, but McGlinn finished his Eagle Scout project. The new memorial features bricks with the names of local soldiers, ranging from the Civil War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
People can still purchase a brick in honor of a loved one. Prices range between $100 and $5,000.
For information on purchasing a brick or making a donation, contact Co-chairs Howard Hingiss (414) 425-5276 or Mitchell McGlinn (414) 232-5244 or Village Liaison, Don Schwartz (414) 418-8299.
CLICK HERE for additional information on the Hales Corners war memorial, and information on purchasing a brick.
The memorial is located at Hales Corners Park near 116th Street and New Berlin Road between the Hales Corners Library and new basketball courts.