Photos & Story Page 56
Jul/Aug 2004 Graybeards
The memorial project was brought before the Babbitt VFW Post in the year 2000. At that time we were
unable to come up with a way to raise the funds. The Post home was sold in 2001 and the money distributed.
With the money just sitting idle we remembered the memorial project and contacted former mayor Dennis Orn
July 2002. He still had all the information. With the information we contacted business’ that would do the
work, received quotes and found we could accomplish the project with
the money on hand. At the August 2002 meeting we decided to approach the city of Babbitt and ask for
approval to build the memorial in front of the Municipal building. At the September 2, 2002 city council
meeting we received permission. The slab and monument were placed late fall 2002. The flag poles were
ordered early spring 2003 and placed in position June 2003. The 753 names bricks were ready in July and the
contractor placed them the first week of August 2003. On Monday October 20, 2003 we held a dedication
Mayor Don Negely delivered a proclamation and the guest speaker was State Representative David Dill.
Other funds were received from The American legion post for half the monument and their post members name
bricks. Also the local organization of the Babbitt Lions donated the flag poles and assisted with the cost
of running electrical power out to the site. Pictures show the monument with all three flags flying and a
close up of the Monument that was mined at a local quarry.
There is also a Walk of Honor containing 753
completed name bricks with room for 226 more. Each brick contains name, branch of service, war involved in
or service dates and also personal info such as medals.
(Thank you Robert Curtiss for letter and photos.)
(Click picture for larger view)
Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, Rochester, MN
By Merle J. Peterson (as published in the Jan/Feb, 2006 Graybeards)
The Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is the result of many volunteer hours that started in June of 1995.
It is a tribute to the patriotism of the people who gave their support to build this memorial without the
use of tax dollars.
The story of the memorial and the 173rd Airborne Brigade: Rochester adopted in 1966. The memorial
consists of several parts: (see cover photo at left) Flags: nine flags - American flag, Minnesota state
flag, six branch of service flags, and a MIA/POW flag. The Wall of Remembrance: contains the names of
veterans within a fifty-mile radius of Rochester who were killed in action or died from injuries sustained
while in service. (2,372 names) The Walk of Remembrance: contains the name, branch of service and conflict
or date entered service, of a veteran, living or dead, on a 2” x 8” x 20” granite brick. (4,590 bricks -
pavers) Four circular walls: shows graphics from the Civil War to the Gulf War on the outside, and written
history on the inside. Fifty trees: one tree for each state in the union. Website: www.soldiersfieldmemorial.org
We honor those who died and dedicate it to all who served.
A note about the Korean War Wall: We tried to show the different types of land, such as the mountains and
rice paddies. We also tried to depict the different climates—much like Minnesota—, where it gets very warm
in the summer (south), and very cold in the winter (north). The two jets on the wall show the first all-jet
Also shown pictorially are:
- the view of a squad, with the 3.5 rocket launcher
- a river crossing on a pontoon bridge
- a helicopter showing how it was used to move the wounded in and out of M.A.S.H. hospitals, which saved
- the frozen north
(Photo by Joe Hoover)
(Click picture for larger view)
Photo from p13
Jan/Feb 1999 Graybeards
(Click picture for larger view)
Korean War Memorial On The Capitol Grounds; St. Paul, MN.
Associated tablets contain the names
of 738 Minnesotans who died in the War.
Maj. Gen. Ray Davis USMC (Ret.) MOH in Korea was the featured
speaker at the dedication. This was a great ceremony. Also associated with this memorial is an 8 foot
statue of a soldier dressed in the clothing worn during the Korean War. 94,646 Minnesotans served in
the war. Part of that number were 738 KIAs, 154 MIAs, 1,500 WIAs and 30 POWs.
The photos reflect the
spirit of the Korean War Veteran. It was on a hot September 13, 1998 in St. Paul, MN, That this, simple in
design but yet rich is symbolism, memorial was dedicated to it citizens and veterans. To those K-Vets who
have been involved with an event, as emotional and time consuming, which it is, you know what has to go into
making it a success. It was a success, thanks to over 100 vets from Chapter #1 of Minnesota Korean War
Veterans. Yes, everyone pitched in to handle a crowd of approximately 4,000 participants who listened to the
keynote speaker, General Ray Davis, (Ret.) USMC MOH, challenged the crowd to pay tribute and make the
Minnesota Memorial a hallowed place for families and friends to remember. His remarks were well received.
Other speakers who paid homage were Edward Valle, President, MKWV Chapter #1; Bernie Metler, Commissioner,
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs; Lt. Governor, Joanne Benson, State of Minnesota; and Major General
Eugene Andriotti, Minnesota Adjutant of Military Affairs. The ever popular Bob Ryan, Radio & TV Newsman was
Master of Ceremonies and Larry Goga, 1st President of MKWV #1 and chairman of the Dedication Committee
served as announcer and kept the program on target.
After the program, all honored guests were led by
General Davis and Ed Valle, to the Memorial site for the unveiling of eight black academy granite pillars,
which listed the 738 men who were killed in action or missing in action of the Korean War, the 20 foot high
bronze silhouette column and 8 foot tall cast bronze soldier were unveiled, under direction of Jerry
Nalipinski, Memorial chairman, MKWV #1.
To paraphrase, Al Schoenthaler previous comments (corresponding
secretary MKWV #1) “Finally after almost fifty years the Korean War will no longer be forgotten in the State
of Minnesota. A tribute from Minnesota Veterans and State of Minnesota to Minnesotans that fought for
freedom, in a far away place.” In his comments, Ed Valle, President MKWV #1, remarked “This memorial will
honor those who made the supreme sacrifice so that we may enjoy what they so preciously gave up.” Special
thanks go to the State of Minnesota for their financial contribution, to the design team of BRW Architects
(Bob Kost- Mgr.). Art Norby, sculpture, to the craftsman and artisans and to the “Thousands” who monetarily
and verbally supported the memorial and to the hard working members of Chapter #1. Salute! Thanks! Tom
Clawson, Vice Chairman Memorial Dedication Committee Note: Please refer to article (page 12) of Sept./Oct.
1998 “The Graybeards” Minnesota Remembers “Forgotten Comrades” by Al Schoenthaler.