Memorial in Spring Grove honors veterans, current service men an - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Memorial in Spring Grove honors veterans, current service men and women

Posted: Updated:
SPRING GROVE, Minn. (FOX 47) -

The rocks are in their final resting place: a new home, honoring veterans and current servicemen from Spring Grove.

It's all part of a project that's been in the works since September of 2015

Chairman of the Spring Grove Veterans Memorial Group Charlie Sylling said serving one's country in the military is a calling, some volunteer and some were drafted, but all of those who have served or are serving answered their nation's call to defend freedom.

This memorial honors those who answered that call.

The memorial is in the form of six big blocks of granite, standing tall in Spring Grove's Viking Memorial Park.

"This has a quote from Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, which is tied to veterans," explained Sylling, showing off the centerpiece.

"We wanted to honor all the veterans who served, both in peace time and in war time," said Sylling.

Etched into the stones are 1036 names, to ensure those servicemen will never be forgotten.

"We organized them by the era in which they served, so that the World War One veterans are listed together, the Civil War veterans are listed together," demonstrated Sylling, while taking me rock to rock.

He went on to explain that there are a lot of “groups” outside of specific wars fought.

"On a stone in the back we have one family of five brothers, that all served in WW2," said Sylling.

He also said there are five people who all died on the same day in one battle of the Civil War.

There is even a special recognition for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"This is the gold star stone, which honors veterans who lost their lives during service," showed Sylling.

He went on, tearing up, "Robert Sires....was a high school classmate."

There are 60 servicemen from Spring Grove who are etched into that gold star monument.

Sylling, a veteran of the Air Force, has been spearheading this 20-month project.

"My name is here, I served during the Vietnam era, I did not serve in Vietnam. I served from 1971 to 1995,” said Sylling, while showing his name on the granite in the Vietnam section.

Marine Corps Veteran Dean M. Johnson is proud of his service.

“Proud of my country. My brother Larry, my older brother Larry was a Marine, and he served in Vietnam in the year of 1969 and I just wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Johnson.

Johnson said this memorial is a wonderful addition to the community.

"That corner up there, it doesn't get used very often. And this would be a very nice way for people to come there and take a look at the names on the stones and remember who they were and what they did," said Johnson.

These rocks are so much more than stones with etchings; they are a commemoration of real-life heroes.

"It's just heartwarming that people have come up and said thank you," said Sylling.

The project costed roughly $110,000, but was funded all by donations from veterans, their families, businesses in the area and around the country, and from the public.

The official dedication for the Spring Grove Veterans Memorial will be at 9:30 in the morning on June 24th, at the Spring Grove homecoming, which is a town-wide reunion held every ten years. 

Powered by Frankly