Flagpole dedication honors veterans from a local town

TOWN OF EAGLE POINT, Wis. (WEAU) -- In the small Town of Eagle Point, there are more than 40 veterans buried in the O'Neil Creek Cemetery spanning multiple conflicts starting from the civil war.

The flagpole dedication at O'Neil Creek Cemetery.

But when veteran Mike Riedel would drive past, he noticed something was missing.

"It makes me very proud. It's fulfilling something that we should have done quite a long time ago," said Riedel.

Wednesday afternoon, the American Legion Post 77 and the Town of Eagle Point dedicated a flagpole at the cemetery.

"This is probably our greatest opportunity to honor our vets from the town and are buried here. There are other cemeteries in the town, but this is the one the town is responsible for, we maintain it," said Town of Eagle Point Chairman Dennis Ferstenou.

43 veterans rest at the cemetery, including a Medal of Honor recipient from the civil war and the original owner of Old Abe.

"In terms of acreage it's a lot smaller than most cemeteries in the area, but it's rich in history," said Riedel.

Several months ago Riedel went to the Eagle Point town board and proposed the idea of purchasing a flagpole to fly high over the cemetery.

The proposal was met with great support.

"Over 100 years have passed since the civil war and I felt as though it was time to say thank you. Thank you for your supreme sacrifice," explained Riedel.

For him, the simple gesture of the flag is a simple way to show appreciation for everything soldiers and veterans have given to our country.

"You can go all the way back to the civil war and these soldiers didn't run away from danger, they ran towards it. And over 100 years later, our young soldiers are still doing that," said Riedel.

The flagpole cost the town $475 and will also include solar panels, to ensure the flag and cemetery are forever lit.