From the Civil War to the conflict in Iraq, veterans’ stories are being told through the Carver County Veterans Memorial and Registry.
The memorial will be built at the head of the Dakota Rail Regional Trail in Mayer.
Each veteran will have a 70-pound, 16-inch-long paver stone, engraved with their name, branch of service, and era in which they served.
The memorial also includes an online registry, www.ccvmr.org, where veterans can include a photo and more details about their service. Anyone who served in the US military and was honorably discharged can purchase a paver and submit a story. (Purchases are fully tax deductible.)
“Veterans don’t need a connection to Carver County,” committee chair Stan Heldt said. “It’s a way for anyone to have their story told and remembered.”
Some people have been purchasing pavers and submitting stories for military family members who have passed away.
One example is the story of Henry Wolf, who died while serving in the Civil War. Wolf, 35, had been a farmer before becoming a private under the command of Captain Vander Horcht in the Minnesota infantry in March 1862. He died just over a year later, July 29, 1863.
To find a veteran’s story, go to www.ccvmr.org, and type in the last name of the person you’d like to find in the “search” box.
Veterans don’t need to have served in a war to be included in the memorial.
“Sometimes men and women who have been trained in the military but didn’t fight in a battle don’t feel they deserve recognition, and they underestimate their contributions,” Heldt said. “But, it takes a whole bunch of people to make this all work. All these people contribute to the freedoms we enjoy every day.”
About the memorial
A monument company in Cold Spring has been selected to construct the lighted memorial, which will feature six granite stones, three on each side.
There will also be an American flag, and one flag for each branch of the military. Other planned features include meditation benches, a glass display case, and attractive landscaping.
The center will include a spot to honor soldiers who were killed in action.
Fundraising efforts are underway, and several organizations and individuals have already generously donated in support of the memorial.
Reserve a spot
To learn more about the Carver County Veterans Memorial and Registry, to donate, or to reserve a paver, call (612) 888-6366, or call Stan Heldt at (952) 657-2169.