14 Years in the Making: Iron Range Veterans Memorial Comes to Life

By KBJR News 1

14 Years in the Making: Iron Range Veterans Memorial Comes to Life

August 16, 2012 Updated Aug 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM CDT

Virginia, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- In honor of veterans dating back to World War I, the Iron Range Veterans Memorial will finally become a reality.

On August 25th, the public is invited to a day of remembrance for the brave men and women who fought for the freedom of the United States. A commemorative parade will wind its way along Chestnut Street in Virginia, MN starting at 10am with Honor Guards from around the region as well as veterans of multiple wars proceeding right into the Veterans Memorial Park.

In the park stands a 27 foot tall veteran memorial statue that offers a permanent place of tribute and reflection.

“We have close to 20,000 veterans in St. Louis County,” said Commissioner Keith Nelson. “As the son of a veteran, it’s been my privilege to assist the Veterans Memorial Committee in at last realizing their dream of creating a permanent monument to pay tribute to all those who’ve served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Law makers from across the state will all be in attendance for the dedication of the new veterans memorial statue in the Veteran Memorial Park.

The ceremony, which will include music and remembrances, is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

"Shoulder to shoulder, even the fallen stand tall" features eight service men and women. Their uniforms represent all branches of military from World War I to the first Gulf War, and they are posed in support of each other, across generations, as they together look at the field marker for a fallen comrade.

Surrounding and protecting them is a large eagle. The statue weighs more than seven tons and measures 27 feet in length. It was created by artist Gareth Andrews of Zim, MN.

“So many people have worked so hard to make this memorial a reality,” said Tom Berrigan of the Iron Range Veterans Memorial Committee. “It’s gratifying to at last see the sculpture here, and to see how much it means to the many people who show up each day to see it and pause to reflect.”

Any veterans interested in taking part in the parade are encouraged to meet at 9:30 a.m. at the parade’s starting point of 1st Avenue and Chestnut Street. Any questions can be directed to St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson at 218-749-7108.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns