Plans are underway to construct a living tribute to honor all past and current military service men and women.
The group in charge of designing and building the living tribute is the St. James Area Veterans Foundation – a newly created not-for-profit organization in St. James. The group meets the second Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the meetings.
The tribute will be located in Memorial Park across from the high school football field in St. James.
The site is designed to hold a six feet by six feet memorial stone located in the middle of a blocked fence area. The memorial will be a black granite monument shaped like Minnesota. The granite and all material for the project will come from in-Minnesota sources. The memorial stone will contain text which reads: “In honor of the men and women who served our country in the armed services of the United States of America,” along with a quote from Abraham Lincoln.
Three flags will fly toward the back of the memorial – The Minnesota State Flag, The American Flag and The POW flag. Benches will surround the memorial stone with emblems from past wars like WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
The St. James Area Veterans Foundation will be selling granite pavers to help pay for the project. The pavers will cost $150 and can contain a service member’s name, rank, branch of service and years served. These pavers will be about six inches by 10 inches.
Pavers are on sale now so look for stands at upcoming St. James events like Railroad days and the Legion Red Bull Band Concert.
Plans to construct this living tribute have been underway since July 2012. The group is hoping to have the project done within the next year, but there is no date set for completion at this time. St. James Area Veterans Foundation will continue moving forward with the project as funds become more available.
Members of the Board of Directors for the St. James Area Veterans Foundation are Rick Leistikow - Chairman, Dave Stordalen - Vice Chairman, Bill Berg - Treasurer and Lila Evers - Secretary.