TECUMSEH – Tecumseh’s architectural review board gave its approval Tuesday for a proposed Johnson County Veterans Memorial on the courthouse square triggering the fundraising phase for the memorial committee.
Kevin McKinney, who retired from the Nebraska National Guard after 30 years, said the city’s architectural review board came to agree that the design by Becky Woltemath of Auburn will provide a proper enhancement of the courtyard’s existing war memorials.
It will feature four, black-granite wall panels that will display artwork and be etched with veterans’ names. It will also have a garden atmosphere with landscaping and pavers that stretch along the sidewalk.
McKinney walked off the space on the south side of the courthouse Thursday, just east of USS Maine and Pearl Harbor tribute.
The next step for the $150,000 project will be publishing brochures and sending out mailers letting people know they can have their names etched on the walls or engraved on pavers.
Anyone who has served in the military from Johnson County or affiliated with Johnson County is eligible.
McKinney: “In today’s day and age, with all this craziness with patriotism, it’s just nice to have a display of patriotism. That’s why I love Nebraska. I mean we are, especially small community Nebraska, patriotism is big, you know, community is big. It’s all about a community project and something to support our veterans.”
McKinney said he recently noticed the empty lot by the Johnson County Museum and suggested the idea for the memorial. The conversation soon led to him meeting with the American Legion and a consensus to ask the county board for space on the courthouse yard.
McKinney said the name of his father, World War II Navy veteran Orland McKinney, will be among the names.