Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed Wednesday, March 7 as "National Eagle Center Day" in honor of the Eagle Center in Wabasha and all that they do for our eagles.
And to celebrate, more than 100 supporters of the center, including 50 school age students, celebrated at the state capitol.
Governor Dayton also included an expansion of the National Eagle Center in his 2018 bonding bill, which could allow for more educational programs, exhibits and closer encounters with eagles.
The celebratory rally featured Angel, a majestic Bald Eagle who stole the show. The rally began with members of the Prairie Island Indian Community singing a song in her honor.
"The eagle is our national symbol of pride and strength in the country," said Senator Mike Goggin.
We love our eagles, and are left in awe whenever we see one out in the wild.
"The eagle represents freedom, living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains amid the solitary grandeur of nature. He has unlimited freedom," said Wabasha Mayor Rollin Hall.
Wabasha is home to one of the great treasures of the state, the National Eagle Center, and at the state's capitol, they had the opportunity to show off that great treasure.
They, along with more than 100 others from different generations, got to show how much they love the nation's national bird, the Bald Eagle.
"It's the only National Eagle Center we have in the country," said Goggin.
The rally not only showed how much these eagle supporters care, but it also showed the eagle's historic importance.
"It is said the eagle was used as a national emblem because, at one of the first battles of the revolution, which occurred early in the morning, the noise of the struggle awoke the sleeping eagles on the heights, and they flew from their nests and circled about over the heads of the fighting men," said Hall. "All the while giving vent to their raucous cries. 'They are shrieking for freedom!' said the patriots."
And for some the rally reminded them of an individual near and dear to their heart.
"About 15 years ago, 20 years ago maybe, when my grandma passed away, my aunt worked for the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota," said Goggin. "And we were fortunate enough that they had nursed an eagle back to health, and we were able to release that eagle in honor of my grandmother, and so it just was extra special to see that."
Since it is almost Spring, more and more eagles could make an appearance in our region.