PICKRELL — Three dark, sparkling granite slabs are engraved with the names of 163 veterans, all hailing from this small Gage County town and the surrounding area.
The granite pieces are part of a veterans memorial that will be dedicated Sunday with a church service, lunch and opening ceremony.
“It’s been an honor to work on the project,” Marilyn Schlake said of the memorial’s planning committee. “Volunteers from the community put a lot of time and effort in and even donated equipment (for the construction).”
The town's annual Pickrell Picnic celebration begins Saturday, with a water slide, fire truck rides and a street dance among the events planned.
The memorial's opening ceremony will start at 11 a.m. Sunday, four days after the 74th anniversary of D-Day.
A community luncheon will follow the opening ceremony and is open to all visitors, Schlake said. After a dedication, people are welcome to stay and listen to a performance by the Southern Cross Band.
The idea for a community memorial was formulated in 2014, when Melvin Winkle and other Pickrell veterans expressed interest in having something in the area to honor fallen and living military members.
It took two years to raise the $80,000-$90,000 needed to construct the memorial, Winkle said. Pickrell, pop. 197, is 13 miles north of Beatrice.
“For a small town, (the memorial) is a nice one — it’s a real beauty,” said Winkle, who served on a U.S. Navy destroyer from 1950 to 1954, during the Korean War. “This is a big thing for me and all of the veterans.”
The dedication Sunday will include presentations of flags, the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance and a 21-gun salute.
The memorial consists of a large, black granite-etched mural, with the saying “All gave some ... some gave all.” A gray tower features five crests representing the branches of the military.
A brick sidewalk surrounds a silver star and leads to the three slabs of black granite adorned with the names of veterans from the Pickrell area. Three benches honor other military members.
Pavers surround the area and include the names of sponsors and dedications to veterans with messages from family members.
The memorial has room for 25 names to be added to the granite pieces. Veterans must have a connection to the Pickrell area.
The committee compiled the initial list of names by drawing from records of a Pickrell church, along with a Beatrice connection with a book of local veterans.
“The veterans here need a recognition for their services,” said planning committee member Larry Remmers.
Remmers, who served two tours on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers from 1966 to 1970 during the Vietnam War, will be the caretaker of the memorial’s flags.
Schlake said there are no living veterans from the Pickrell area with ties to D-Day, but there are some who are being honored that died within the last few years.
The memorial in the city park will be a place to remember veterans and those who have sacrificed their lives, she said.
“I have family who have served, and are currently serving,” Schlake said. “This is a very nice memorial to support them in a town of 200 people.”
Remembering the sacrifice: Images of D-Day
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Sitting in the cover of their foxholes, American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force secure a beachhead during initial landing operations at Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. In the background amphibious tanks and other equipment crowd the beach, while landing craft bring more troops and material ashore. (AP Photo/Weston Haynes)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a U.S. Coast Guard landing barge, tightly packed with helmeted soldiers, approaches the shore at Normandy, France, during initial Allied landing operations, June 6, 1944. These barges ride back and forth across the English Channel, bringing wave after wave of reinforcement troops to the Allied beachheads. (AP Photo)
Men and supplies are being ferried out to landing crafts enroute for the initial Allied invasion of the Normandy, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Peter Carroll)
Under the white ensign of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, left, Allied naval commander-in-chief, watches the invasion fleet en route to France on June 6, 1944 from the bridge of a motor torpedo boat.
Members of a British special service commando are having their kits checked before leaving for the Allied landing operations of the Normandy coast in France, on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the order of the day, "Full victory - nothing else," to paratroopers somewhere in England, just before they boarded their airplanes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo)
Ducks (amphibious trucks) and a half-track follow foot troops ashore during the invasion of Normandy on a 100-mile front along the French coast by allied forces on June 6, 1944. This was a turning point for the Allies in World War II, known as D-Day. (AP Photo)
In this photo provided by the British Navy, wounded British troops from the South Lancashire and Middlesex regiments are being helped ashore at Sword Beach, June 6, 1944, during the D-Day invasion of German occupied France during World War II. (AP Photo/British Navy)
A first wave beach battalion Ducks lays low under the fire of Nazi guns on the beach of southern France on D-Day, June 6, 1944 during World War II. One invader operates a walkie talkie radio directing other landing craft to the safest spots for unloading their parties of fighting men. (AP Photo)
American soldiers and supplies arrive on the shore of the French coast of German-occupied Normandy during the Allied D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 in World War II. (AP Photo)
Carrying full equipment, American assault troops move onto a beachhead code-named Omaha Beach, on the northern coast of France on June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of the Normandy coast.
Soldiers of the 2nd Canadian Flotilla are carrying bicycles as they disembark their LCI's at a beachhead code-named Juno Beach, at Bernieres-sur-mer, during the Allied invasion of the Normandy on June 6, 1944, . (AP Photo)
Men of the American assault troops of the 16th Infantry Regiment, injured while storming a coastal area code-named Omaha Beach during the Allied invasion of the Normandy, wait by the chalk cliffs at Collville-sur-Mer for evacuation to a field hospital for further treatment, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
Members of an American landing unit help their exhausted comrades ashore during the Normandy invasion, June 6, 1944. The men reached the zone code-named Utah Beach, near Sainte Mere Eglise, on a life raft after their landing craft was hit and sunk by German coastal defenses.
In this image provided by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, General Dwight Eisenhower gives the order of the day, "Full Victory - Nothing Else," to paratroopers somewhere in England just before they board their planes to participate in the first assault in the invasion of the continent of Europe, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo)
In this photo provided by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. paratroopers fix their static lines before a jump before dawn over Normandy on D-Day June 6, 1944, in France. The decision to launch the airborne attack in darkness instead of waiting for first light was probably one of the few Allied missteps on June 6, and there was much to criticize both in the training and equipment given to paratroopers and glider-borne troops of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions. Improvements were called for after the invasion; the hard-won knowledge would be used to advantage later. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)
Men and assault vehicles storm the Normandy Beach of France, as allied landing craft arrive at their destination on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Note men coming ashore in surf and vehicles starting inland. (AP Photo)
This is the scene censors viewed as the two-millionth foot of motion picture film reviewed since D-Day reached the screen at SHAEF film censorship theater and showed U.S. Gen, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, talking with men of the American Divison D-Day, June 6,1944. (AP Photo)
A French civilian points out the way for an American soldier who landed with the Allied expeditionary force in northern France, on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
A returning B-24 Liberator of the U.S. Eighth Army Air Force passes over part of the invasion armada as the boats steam across the channel toward the coast of Northern France, on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
Young Field Marshal Erwin Rommel headed group B, on the coast hit by the allied invasion, June 6, 1944 under Von Runstedt. He reviews the crew of a battery on the channel coast. ( AP Photo)
In Piccadilly Circus crowds of Londoners read the first news of the invasion in the editions of the evening papers, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
Airborne troops prepare for the descent on Europe on June 6th. Line-up of parachute dropping stirlings (aircraft) ranged either side of the runway on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
A member of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps communicates with his supply center by field telephone from an emergency first aid station set up on one of the French beachheads to treat allied wounded during the initial landings in France on June 6, 1944. The concrete wall which gives shelter to the station was part of the German beach defenses. In the background, U.S. troops of the allied expeditionary force crouch behind a hastily constructed gun emplacement. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this June 6, 1944 file picture, some of the first assault troops to hit the Normandy, France beachhead take cover behind enemy obstacles to fire on German forces as others follow the first tanks plunging through the water towards the German-held shore during World War II. (AP Photo)
The 15-inch guns of warspite shelling German invasion coast positions on the Normandy coast on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)
Allied landings craft of unidentified type, right, burns just off the shore somewhere on the north coast of France on June 6, 1944 during the invasion of Fortress Europe. (AP Photo)
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