It’s been more than four years in the making, but the North St. Paul Veterans Memorial Park is now a reality. The Veterans Memorial Park Foundation had been working since 2010 to construct a plan to create a public space that would be a tribute to Veterans and their families. The timeframe for the project was originally May 2015 – August 2015, but due to weather complications, the project didn’t actually start until June. Co-Chair of the Veterans Park Inc. Project Committee, Dan Fisher, said after seeing the Korean War Memorial Coldspring did in Washington, he knew he wanted Coldspring for this project.
“The quality was exactly what we were looking for. We felt this project was very important and you could see that Coldspring cared about the quality of work they produced.” The project used 223 square feet of Mesabi Black® granite. “We envisioned a park that recognized through more of a contemporary view that provided a historical and honorable approach,” Fisher said.
One of the main focal points of the Memorial Park is the Remembrance Wall, which includes the names of local Veterans who were killed, Missing in Action or were Prisoners of War.
Other features of the park include a central star, which signifies Minnesota being the “North Star State.” It is surrounded by a sea of blue to reflect the freedom of the sky. The red stripes indicate the sacrifice made by veterans, the white stripes provide a walkway and signify the paths of purity and purpose that veterans follow during their service to protect and defend the U.S., and a stone replica of the state of Minnesota engraved with the image of an American Serviceman. Four flags were also installed to honor Marine SGT Chad Frokjer, Army SPC Gregory Rundell and Army SPC Matthew J. Johnson who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Coldspring also refurbished an existing bronze plaque from WWI the Park Foundation had in storage, which was then mounted on a granite panel for display. The North St. Paul Veterans Memorial Project is a joint effort of the American Legion Post 39, VFW Post 1350, North High Air Force JROTC and the City of North St. Paul. The park is located on the corner of Margaret Street and Hwy 36.