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.
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.
She was followed by presentations by 1st District Legion Auxiliary President Candy Reagan.
Past Faribault Legion Auxiliary President Karen Rasmussen.
Faribault American Legion Commander John McDonough.
Co-Chair of the committee that designed, raised funds and brought the project to life Richard Cook made the longest presentation.
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.
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.
There were multiple color guards and honor guards in attendance.
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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