After three years of delays due to construction and of course COVID the expanded Rice County Veterans Memorial on the north lawn of the Rice County Courthouse in Faribault was dedicated Saturday.

It was the most beautiful day of the spring with the temperature hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Veteran Paul Johnson did the honors of introducing the speakers for the event which lasted approximately a half hour.

Paul Johnson at Rice County Veterans Memorial Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Paul Johnson at Rice County Veterans Memorial Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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The turnout of veterans and law enforcement was good but civilian turnout was not nearly as great as anticipated.

Faribault American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain Kathy Larson opened with prayer.

Kathy Larson. Faribault Legion Auxiliary Chaplain. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Kathy Larson. Faribault Legion Auxiliary Chaplain. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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She was followed by presentations by 1st District Legion Auxiliary President Candy Reagan.

Candy Reagan, 1st District Legion Auxiliary President. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Candy Reagan, 1st District Legion Auxiliary President. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Past Faribault Legion Auxiliary President Karen Rasmussen.

Karen Rasmussen, Past Faribault Legion Auxiliary President. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Karen Rasmussen, Past Faribault Legion Auxiliary President. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Faribault American Legion Commander John McDonough.

John McDonough Faribault American Legion Post Commander. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
John McDonough Faribault American Legion Post Commander. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Co-Chair of the committee that designed, raised funds and brought the project to life Richard Cook made the longest presentation.

Richard Cook, Rice County Veterans Memorial Committee Co-Chair. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Richard Cook, Rice County Veterans Memorial Committee Co-Chair. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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The former Rice County Sheriff opened by establishing how old the original memorial has been in place.

He talked about the original committee of 17 people and his Co-Chair Lloyd Grandprey.

Cook then concluded that portion of his presentation.

Cook also paid tribute to a "veteran's veteran" Kirk Mansfield.

The Rice County Veterans Memorial Project Committee Co-Chair pointed out State Senator John Jasinski and State Representative Brian Daniels were key in securing $60,000 in Cultural Heritage Legacy Funds to finish the project.

Glen Wagner, Faribault American Legion Post 43 Chaplain said a prayer.

Glen Wagner, Faribault American Legion Post Chaplain. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Glen Wagner, Faribault American Legion Post Chaplain. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Paul Johnson concluded the speaking portion of the dedication.

Steve Bonde provided his talents for the National Anthem, played a piece on his trumpet and Taps.

Steve Bonde Plays National Anthem at Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Steve Bonde Plays National Anthem at Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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There were multiple color guards and honor guards in attendance.

Another View of Dedication on North Lawn of Rice County Courthouse. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Another View of Dedication on North Lawn of Rice County Courthouse. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Stepped Back View of Observances. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Stepped Back View of Observances. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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View from Civil War Memorial Area Rice County Courthouse. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
View from Civil War Memorial Area Rice County Courthouse. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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A look north from the Rice County Courthouse Steps During National Anthem. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
A look north from the Rice County Courthouse Steps During National Anthem. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Kirk Mansfield was honored for his work on the project. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Kirk Mansfield was honored for his work on the project. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Rifle Salute 1
Rifle Salute 1
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Rifle Salute 2
Rifle Salute 2
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Rifle Salute 3
Rifle Salute 3
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Looking East from Center Rice County Map. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Looking East from Center Rice County Map. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Rice County Veterans Memorial Expansion Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Rice County Veterans Memorial Expansion Dedication. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Eagle and Dove on Eternal Flame Pole. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Eagle and Dove on Eternal Flame Pole. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
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Below is a edited version of the ceremony.  I took out segments where people are walking to the podium, etc.  The speeches and the program are here in their entirety.

Veterans Memorial members have repeatedly stated the memorial honors those who have served their country.  It is not glorifying war but those who served their country and in some cases died for their nation.

Others, like my Dad, came home Disabled American Veterans.  He suffered a permanent foot injury during a training excercise in France during WWII.

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