In honor of our cherished local veterans, whose unwavering courage and sacrifices have safeguarded our freedom and protected our community, we proudly present "The Lake Mills Veterans Mural." As we gaze upon these brave faces and remember their stories, may we forever hold in our hearts the indomitable spirit of our hometown heroes. Their sacrifices serve as an enduring source of inspiration for generations to come.
About the Mural:
The Lake Mills Veterans Mural, a testament to the profound impact of community, was envisioned by artist Joe Kiefer in 2014, completed in 2016, and inspired by a moving Veterans Day ceremony at Prospect Elementary School. Witnessing 560 elementary students pay tribute to teary-eyed local Veterans, Joe felt a deep need to honor their service, giving birth to the concept of this mural.
All Veterans featured on the mural have a direct connection to Lake Mills, and their inclusion was made possible through the generous support of sponsors, including friends, family, the Veterans themselves, and the American Legion Post 67. This mural was painstakingly crafted with Sherwin-Williams exterior house paint on 23 exterior plywood panels.
The mural consists of 45 life-sized portraits of local veterans and 64 painted stars, each adorned with plaques containing the Veteran's name, rank, branch of the military, and years of service.
The mural's original location was on the north side of the Shopko Pharmacy building at 203 N. Main Street. In 2018, the building changed hands, leading to its removal in 2022 for remodeling by Tyranena Brewery, placing the mural panels into storage, where their future became uncertain.
In August 2023, Joe Kiefer transferred ownership of the mural to the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society, a 501(c) organization, ensuring its preservation and management within their collection.
In a heartwarming demonstration of community unity, three building owners generously provided spaces for the mural's re-installation. These locations include Jensen Plumbing, Heating and Air INC. (204 W Lake St.), Denny's Hair Salon (118 W Lake St.), and the American Legion Post 67 (133 N Main St.). This collaborative effort with the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society and artist Joe Kiefer facilitated the mural's reinstallation in October 2023.
The Lake Mills Veterans Mural symbolizes not only a powerful tribute to our local veterans but also a testament to the strength of community collaboration and dedication to preserving our shared history and culture. The mural's relocation ensures that its impact will endure, touching the hearts of generations to come.
Reinstallation of this Mural is thanks to the following Supporters:
Denny's Hair Salon
Jensen Plumbing, Heating and Air
American Legion Post #67
Joe Kiefer, Artist
Bank of Lake Mills
Volunteers of the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society