Richfield honored those who died serving their country — and those who were willing to — on Memorial Day, May 26, with a ceremony dedicating the Honoring All Veterans Memorial at Veterans Park in Richfield.
The memorial’s centerpiece features a statue of the late Charles Lindberg, a longtime Richfield resident who was among the first group of soldiers to raise the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II.
Monday’s official dedication came six years after construction on the project began. Work proceeded as funding became available, and now standing at the site are eight stone tablets engraved with the names of those who served their country in the military.
Five of the tablets bear names, while the monument’s keepers seek more names to be engraved. Engravings can be purchased and a fund has been set up to pay for the honors as well. Construction was undertaken bit by bit until the Memorial Day dedication, as a dense crowd gathered on the lawn beside the memorial meant to honor military veterans both living and deceased.
The idea started in 2005, hatched by Travis Gorshe, who combined his passion for art — as a member of the Richfield Arts Commission — and military history in envisioning the memorial.
What began as a project spurred on by Gorshe and Richfield Recreation Director Jim Topitzhofer soon became a community-wide endeavor, Gorshe said.
Topitzhofer called the construction of the memorial the proudest moment of his career. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who spoke during the ceremony, called the memorial the most impressive she has seen outside of Washington, D.C.
Aside from the tablets and statue, the memorial features six stone pillars representing each branch of the U.S. military. According to Gorshe, work is not complete despite Monday’s dedication.
Gorshe said ultimate plans call for a total of 60 tablets that would bear the names of 7,200 veterans. The tablets would form a teardrop and be easily seen from the sky as planes pass above, he said.
Those interested in purchasing a name to be engraved on a tablet or donating to the cause may call the memorial task force at 612-861-9395.
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE D-Day 2013-69 Years Later