Scheel memorial a lasting tribute to all veterans, past and present

Published 10:43 pm Saturday, December 2, 2006

Kirk and Kourtney Scheel raised the American Flag for the first time over the newly constructed Veterans Memorial dedicated in memory of their father — Lt. Colonel Randolph J. Scheel-USAF. The ceremony was held on Veterans Day. The memorial is situated near the center of the McNeill Cemetery in McNeill.

Although there are veterans from as far back as the Civil War, this is the first memorial erected in their memory at the cemetery.

From records kept throughout the years about the cemetery, Matty Jo Fox, a member of the Cemetery Association, was able to identify the oldest veteran. His name was Jacob M. Rich — a soldier for the Confederate States of America.

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The idea for the project came from Kirk Scheel who felt there would be no better way to honor his father who was a career military officer. Funding came from memorials sent to the Scheel family after Randy’s death June 10, 2006.

Construction was accomplished through the efforts of so many who wanted neither recognition nor praise. Needless to say, a project of this size required a massive amount of work — from ditch digging to grass planting.

Jo Scheel presided over the ceremony which included, in addition to the flag raising, the dedication prayer by Stan Layton, pastor of The First Presbyterian Church of Picayune, laying of a traditional wreath, and the playing of TAPS by Melonie McDonald.

It is with a deep sense of gratitude that the Scheel family thanks everyone involved in the construction and completion of this memorial to honor all Veterans.