Sunday, October 10, 2010


I had the great fortune of hooking up with a fellow who was on the planning committee for the Minnesota Vietnam Memorial. He met me in a neighboring town and showed me the memorial there (more on that, later) before taking me on to St. Paul to see the state site.

The site in St. Paul is one of those that has had every detail thought out and meticulously planned.

The general layout of the site is in the shape of the State including Lake Superior and the lower Mississippi River with a massive dark green granite wall bearing the 1125 names of Minnesota's fallen.

The plaza area created by the wall and surrounds is made up of 68,000 squares of (mostly white) tiles representing each of those who served. Within this layout are 1125 dark green squares denoting each of the fallen or MIA. These are placed in the correct geographic location for each hero. So, one sees many around Minneapolis-St. Paul and other population centers and single squares in other areas denoting, honoring, one lost soul.

Facing the wall is the facade of a home to which those listed here will never return.

If you look carefully at the right side of the wall you can see that it appears to be lighter in color than the rest. This is due to vandalism which when repaired caused this aberration. By the time the funds were raised to repair the repair this lightening had become part of character of the site and it was decided to leave it as is. When I first saw it I thought it was a patch of sun light, illuminating the names. My friend told me that others had described it in the same way.

After the years of planning, funds raising, planning and work, the wall was unveiled on September 25th 1992 and dedicated the next day. On this wall the dates begin in 1962 as that is when the first of Minnesota's heroes fell. During these ceremonies the bells of the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral pealed, speeches were made, songs were sung and hearts were put on the path to healing.

Minnesota has honored her lost with great beauty, dignity and respect. If you have the opportunity, see it and do the same.

You can find it on the State Capitol grounds at 108 Aurora Ave, St Paul, Minnesota and you can find more info here;

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