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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A dedication ceremony was held yesterday for a new memorial on the State Capitol Mall in St. Paul.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs hosted the event, which featured five Medal of Honor recipients: Thomas Kelley, James Sprayberry, Leroy Petry, Michael Fitzmaurice, and Robert Patterson. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. According to the Department of Defense, it is "conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty."

Minnesota National Guard photo
Minnesota National Guard photo
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72 Minnesotans have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Minnesota Medal of Honor, the organization behind the new Memorial, says the last living Minnesota recipient, Leo Thorsness, died in 2018.

The groundbreaking for the Minnesota Medal of Honor Memorial took place eight years ago while the state was hosting the Medal of Honor Society’s national convention. In 2017, state lawmakers approved legislation that provided $250,000 to help fund the project. Rochester State Senator Carla Nelson was among the sponsors of the bill.

TRIBUTE: 29 U.S. Service Members From Minnesota Killed During the War in Afghanistan

After 20 years of war, 29 men and women from Minnesota made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan while serving our country during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Scroll through the photos below and pay tribute to our fellow Minnesotans who served with valor.

The information below comes from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

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