American Legion Daniel Dopp Post 370 Veterans Memorial Project
The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization, committed to mentoring youth, the sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
On June 9, 1918, Daniel G. Dopp of Wild Rose, Wisconsin was killed in action during WWI. According to the US Army Burial Administration, Daniel was buried near where he died in the Belleau Woods in France. On January 10, 1928 the Dan Dopp Post 370 was chartered to honor our fallen hero. To ensure that his correct name was used, in 1954, the Wild Rose Post name was changed to the American Legion Daniel Dopp Post 370.
Over 13 years ago Post 370 took possession of a Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra attack helicopter from Madison, Wisconsin that was acquired through a government program. Our mission was to use the helicopter in parades and eventually place the helicopter as the focal point of a Veterans Memorial in our community. This helicopter was flown in Vietnam and Post 370 considers this memorial to be sacred ground, a place of honor and remembrance for those who served and died for our country.
Post 370 approached the Wild Rose Lions Club to see if we could use a portion of their land just south of the Wild Rose Village limits to place the memorial on. The Lions Club responded with enthusiasm and a portion of land was surveyed and a lease agreement with the Wild Rose Lions Club was signed in May 2017. The generosity and support of the Wild Rose Lions Club has made this Veterans Memorial now a reality.
In the process Post 370 also approached the Village of Wild Rose Board to ask for support for the memorial project and received their overwhelming approval.
Stacey Hill of Wild Rose donated her talent to do the initial graphic rendering of the proposed memorial. Shulfer Architects, LLC, of Middleton, Wisconsin, donated their time to complete a final rendering for the memorial.
The focal point of the Memorial is the restored vintage Bell AH-1 Huey Cobra Attack helicopter flown in country during the Vietnam War and will be illuminated at night. The helicopter will be surrounded by a black aluminum fence, a sidewalk able to accommodate persons with disabilities, benches, and Veterans Memorial plaques. Illuminated flags of our country, all of our armed forces, and a POW flag will be placed to the east of the helicopter in a semi-circle.
A cement pad for the helicopter was completed and the helicopter was painted and placed on the pad on May 24, 2017. The fence around the helicopter, flag poles, sidewalk, lighting and memorial plaques were installed in the late spring to late summer in 2018. Dedication of the Memorial site was held in September of 2018. The bricks honoring veterans, those provided by community businesses and the community at large, were placed along the Walk of Honor in the spring of 2019.