Veterans' Memorial Tribute

Courtesy - TriCounty News: Chilton gathered as a community Saturday, August 2, 2014 to write another chapter in its praise, admiration and respect for veterans of the United States Military Service.  An estimated crowd of 1,000 people packed Klinkner Park to honor the dedication of the community’s new Veterans Memorial—a gem that honors past service and keeps the door open to honoring future service to preserving America’s freedoms.

Speakers were joined by the combined Chilton bands and choirs, who celebrated the day with music.
In addition to military personnel and veterans, the park was dotted with civilians who represented families honored on the memorial, and civilians who were part of the effort to raise money for the memorial.

Maj. Gen. Daniel Ammermann, the commander of U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations, based in Fort Bragg, NC, addressed the crowd on this special day.  “I applaud all of your efforts. I am impressed to see the way the community has come together, bringing money, resources and ideas together for this purpose,” he noted.  “Your efforts are plainly visible in the majesty of this memorial. You have created a place for families to reflect and honor the loved ones who have served.”  Maj. Gen. Ammerman said, “We are gathered here not only to remember but to celebrate the strength, courage and dedication of our veterans, and salute those who continue to serve in the (branches of our military service.).  “This is far from finished,” he said. “It is a work in progress, and as the years pass, more men and women will answer the call to serve their country. This park will grow as their names are added,” he said.  Maj. Gen. Ammerman said that as long as there are enemies out there that don’t understand the importance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, such sacrifices will be required.  He closed by presenting a plaque of commemoration to the City of Chilton on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rich Appel, US Army Lt. Colonel (retired) was introduced as the chair of the ad hoc committee that worked on the project the past two years.
Appel said the whole idea was started by a contact from Bob Nolan. “He came to me with the idea of building a veterans memorial, literally starting the spark for what you see here today,” Appel said. Appel also offered his gratitude to Maj. Gen. Ammerman, with whom he had the privilege to serve in war time, calling him a “class act.”  Appel also offered kudos to Command Sgt Major Tom Walsh of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion for answer the call to participate in the dedication service.  Appel called attention to the many donors and contractors who took part in the project, and to the community, whose support for the effort was immeasurable.  Joining Appel on the project were Don Kampfer, representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars: Kent Katalinick, American Legion; Don Gehl, Disabled American Veterans; Bill Krizak, Calumet County Veterans Service Officer; Shawn Reilly, Kim Mckeen, Rick Nelson, Lee and Vicki Roehrig, and members at large. Glen Calnin, State Bank of Chilton, served as the project’s treasurer.

Jim Suttner, a Chilton native, was introduced as the memorial’s architectural designer.  He didn’t seek out the opportunity to design the memorial. It sought him out. He described how his father, John, and friend Don Kampfer explained to him on a pheasant hunting trip that they had offered his services to create the concept of the memorial.  “I didn’t know what I was getting into at the time, but it turned out to be one of the most special things I have done in my career,” Suttner said.  “I tried to think of what the the community has given to make this possible, but even more so what those who have served have given,” he added.  Suttner said he wanted the memorial to serve as a daily reminder for all who pass by of that very service.  “The design invites people to come inside the memorial and see the names and the numbers of people who have served—those who have given their lives and those who have served and understand and appreciate what that means,” he added.  Suttner said he hopes the design fills a special purpose for the memorial to serve as a place to honor, to remember, to learn, to reflect, to share stories and as a place for community to come together—and never forget.  “I hope that’s what happens with this place over the years to come,” he said.

Mayor Gerald Vanne offered a salute to all veterans of service, citing their bravery and service. He thanked them for their patriotism and love for country.  Mayor Vanne thanked the Veterans Memorial Committee for its hard work, and he congratulated the community for coming together to support the project.  “Without the generosity of so many businesses and families, this amazing Veterans Memorial would not have become a reality,” he said.  “The greatest dignitaries here today are the veterans themselves. Without their devotion, we would not have the freedom to stand here today for this great dedication,” the mayor added.  After the dedication of two wreaths and the playing of taps, officials cut the ribbon to the entrance of the memorial and opened it to viewing by the community. The throngs of people took their turns, reading the names, admiring the sculptures and taking pictures for the opportunity to remember the day.  August 2 will go down as a day of remembering for Chilton.


Acclaimed Architect Designs Memorial

A Chilton native produced the magnificent design for the Veterans Memorial of Chilton which was dedicated on Saturday, August 2, 2014.  James P. “Jim” Suttner, a licensed architect and principal with the award winning firm of Rohrer Studio, located in Baltimore, Maryland., produced the stunning design.

Suttner, son of John and Carole Suttner, Chilton, was a Chilton High School graduate and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Suttner has made many important contributions through strong design ability and commitment to his clients. Many of the projects he has worked on in Maryland and Pennsylvania have been recognized for design awards from the American Institute of Architects, American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Designers Association.

Jim has always been committed to exceeding client goals while leading projects to be sensitive to schedule and budget. With a wide range of expertise in new construction, renovation, master planning, religious spaces, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation - he consistently transforms complex project requirements into an end result of graceful character.

In addition to the many highly acclaimed projects, Suttner has worked with numerous professional organizations of architecture.  

When Suttner was asked how he feels about the Chilton project he stated, “I am honored to be a part of it because it gives me a chance to give something back to my hometown and, more importantly, to the military veterans who will be honored by the memorial for their service to our country.”